Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UNITY wins in Cleveland Park

The UNITY slate has captured the board of the Cleveland Park Citizen's Association.

Official results:

President: John Chelen
First Vice President: Susie Taylor
Second Vice President: Barry Winer
Recording Secretary: Ann Hamilton;
Assistant Recording Secretary: Sean Mullen
Corresponding Secretary: Ruth Caplan
Treasurer: Clark Madigan
Delegates to the Federations of Citizens Associations are: Ann Loikow, Peter Espenschied and John Chelan with Ruth Caplan at the alternate
Delegates to the Federation of Civic Associations are John Chelen (ex-officio), Alice Kelly, Sean Mullen, Carol Phelps, and Susie Taylor.
Greg New (a past president of CPCA) was previously made an At-Large Delegate for Life by the Federation itself.

Here are two messages from the victors:

No doubt John will send out thanks on all our behalf to the great number of supporters, known and unknown, who came out tonight to vote and who worked behind the scenes for both slates. We won't be able to do that emphatically and often enough.

But, now that campaigns and election are over, I wanted to write with a personal message to Jeff, Anne, Collins, Gabe, John, Genie and Mike.

Thank you.

You did "get something going" like George said at the church tonight euphemistically. The membership is somewhere around 800 now and you were a large part of that. You offered a ton of great ideas (and plans); some of which we openly "stole" as we worked furiously to get out some written examples of our own thinking and ideas. You held cool and engaging events that we'll want to continue. You started this listserv which will remain a hugely important communications platform going forward. You pushed the edge on what changes could mean, technologically and otherwise.

We're humbled and fortunate to have an opportunity to do some good for CPCA and CP in the months ahead. We obviously have no chance to do it alone.

All of you on REFORM really do deserve a lot of credit.

With appreciation,


Tonight will be a special memory for me for the rest of my life. Yet, I want to keep in mind that tonight was less about me and the Unity Team than it is about the CPCA membership itself. It was an inspiring sight to stand near the front door of the church and watch how many of you came to vote. Your turnout demonstrated how important are the issues in front of us, why CPCA matters, and why we can't waste any time in forging a common agenda.

I'd like to commend Jeff Davis and the rest of the Reform Slate. You ran a good campaign and brought out your supporters in amazing numbers. Your determination and energy galvanized the membership; CPCA is a much more vital organization now than any of us imagined it might be. Together, I hope we can build upon that vitality to bring in even more active members and increase our ability to represent our community's needs.

It's also important that we don't take for granted that differences still exist between many of us. One of my personal goals is to find a way to bridge those differences and find common ground. I don't expect the supporters of Reform to abandon their views nor lessen the pressure on our elected officers to do the right thing. It will be their pressure that will drive us to find the right solutions. But I do expect that our shared love for Cleveland Park will help us overcome those differences.

As I said tonight, I'm committed to find a way for all Members of the CPCA to be able to have a substantive role, to be able to voice their opinions, for the Officers to give them a respectful hearing, and for us all together to find a way to achieve our mutual goals.

With thanks, respect, and admiration for your civic spirit,

John Chelen
President, CPCA

So now what? The CPCA can hopefully move forward with a better sense of community involvement and will take strong measures to be a conduit for ALL voices in the community, and take action when action is warranted. Hopefully there will be a stronger use of their new association listserv, and this will help foster better communication by and for the membership, rather than the top-down approach from the previous leadership. At the end of the day, the community should be better served by the vigorous campaign lodged for the past month.

More on Chevy Chase Speed Humps

Paul Schwartzman's take on the speed humps in Chevy Chase.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

TNA: How Does One Join?

The announcement and subsequent reports of Thursday's meeting between the Mayor and the Tenleytown Neighborhood Association has sparked discussion on the neighborhood listserv about the nature of the organization.

According to some, the trouble was caused by non-TNA members. One apparent TNA member offers this comment:

This meeting, like all TNA meetings, was open to the public. There was, in fact, an agenda. The Mayor was invited to speak and answer questions on any topic; this was followed by the regular TNA business meeting. I was sitting near the Mayor; his cell phone rang once and he quickly silenced it. I didn't hear another phone ring and didn't hear anybody carrying on a conversation while the Mayor was speaking.

I didn't think there was a lack of decorum and I didn't perceive the questions to the Mayor as hostile. Much of the conversation between the Mayor and the audience was dominated by ANC3E commissioners Jon Bender, Sam Serebin, and especially Matt Frumin, who made legitimate, but persistent and argumentative, complaints about the Wilson and Janney modernization plans and the lack of communication between the schools' management/improvement teams and the architects and/or city officials. None of the ANC commissioners are TNA members.

The TNA members who spoke asked perfectly civil questions about the Fort Reno playing fields, the hiring and firing of public school teachers, the Wilson High School plans, why we always have to fight the city government for what we need, underground parking for Janney and the Library, hours at the Wilson Pool, and compliments to Ginnie Cooper and the Freelon Group for a beautiful plan for the Tenley-Friendship Library. There was one incident when a person who is not a TNA member responded to a statement by Jon Bender by shouting out "What planet are you from?" The chair of the meeting quickly told her she was out of order.

This certainly invites some questions which have been asked repeatedly, such as how one joins the TNA? There have been repeated requests for information. In terms of being "open to the public", it was only because the Mayor's office to announced this particular meeting (and only a day before) that any non-member even knew about it. So exactly how are the meetings open to the public if there is no outreach or information provided? Given its listing as a member of the DC Federation of Citizens Associations one would think there would be a minimum level of transparency attributed to membership and meetings.

Friday, September 25, 2009

CPCA Unity Slate: From the Top

In the spirited final days of the Cleveland Park Citizen's Association campaign season, an interesting gaffe may provide insight into one of the clear distinctions between the slates.

The Unity team has been running on a philosophy where "we're independent and come with different points of view, and provide a check-and-balance on any single perspective".

However, in some exchanges on the Association listserv, the issue of honking horns while driving over speed humps arose as a topic of discussion. One of the candidates responded:

To set the record straight, no one on the UNITY slate was a proponent of speed bumps. Any traffic calming measure needs to be considered in relation to traffic problems in the whole neighborhood.

A quick reply added:

Dammit! I thought we agreed (well, were correctly instructed) not to respond!

Your first sentence won't help; At Monday's ANC meeting, Karina Ricks of DDOT convinced me (and many others) that your second sentence is wrong.

Regardless of whether one supports speed humps or agrees with the DDOT policy, the portion highlighted seems instructive. As one CPCA member notes"

Instructed? With independent, diverse individuals?

This seems like the same top-down management of the current CPCA leadership -- and it appears as if the Unity Slate is embracing the same management style.

The idea that a diverse group or residents with divergent opinions representing a community is a great one. However, the Reform slate came together because of a similar "top-down" (PDF) approach by the current CPCA leadership, as demonstrated in the heated Giant debate. The revealing post on the CPCA forum suggests a similar managerial style to which both sides had provided rhetoric to combating. The demonstration that Reform Slate members openly diverge on the speed hump issues shows an honest openness which is appears to be indicative of a refreshing approach to leadership.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

TNA Meeting with Fenty

A posting from the Ward 3 Outreach Specialist from the Mayor's Office notes a meeting on September 24th (tomorrow) with the Tenleytown Neighbors Association:

Please join Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, TNA president Chris Schumann and other members of the community tomorrow night at St. Columba's Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St NW. Topics include the Tenleytown library, Wilson Aquatic Center, Alice Deal modernization, new playgrounds, parks and much more. There will be a Q&A afterwards. Hope to see you all there!

Wouldn't it have been nice if the TNA had invited the community?

ARD to Safeway: Thumbs Up!

The Alliance for Rational Development, whatever that is, appears to be giving its endorsement to the proposal for redevelopment of the Safeway site at Wisconsin and Ellicot Street.

Sure the plans (large PDF) look ok, but there is a lack of consideration of the broader community input, and broader community impact.

For example, most of the development plans take place on land zoned for residential use, however, this proposal contains no provision for such. More disappointing is the failure of the proposal to take advantage of the opportunity to include affordable, or market based housing. Indeed, this project could have at least one or two floors of residential atop the grocery store with virtually no impact on the existing residential community. Instead, in order to bypass the ongoing, or chronic opposition to density on Wisconsin Avenue, Safeway has chosen the safest route to proceed at the expense of any thought towards longer terms sustainability goals such as LEED certification, reducing auto emissions, or implementing more housing to create a greater threshold of residents to support existing retail between the Tenleytown and Friendship Heights Metro stations.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Smart Growth Forum at Chevy Chase

At the upcoming Chevy Chase Citizens Association meeting on Tuesday, September 22nd, Cheryl Cort, Policy Director at the Coalition for Smarter Growth, will generally discuss approaches for effectively managing growth and development in metropolitan areas to protect the environment and make existing communities better places to live and work. In this context, Ms. Cort will also emphasize lessons learned from development and transportation decisions in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area, and describe plans that affect the future of our region. In addition, Tom Hier, Chair of the Steering Committee at Ward 3 Vision, will discuss grass-roots efforts related to managing growth and development in Ward 3, particularly along the Wisconsin Avenue corridor.

Please join the Chevy Chase Citizen's Association for the meeting on Tuesday September 22, at 7:30 pm, at the Chevy Chase Community Center (5601 Connecticut Avenue). Come earlier for light refreshments and an opportunity to socialize with the Association's officers and other neighbors, starting at 7:00 pm.

Tenleytown Crime Meeting

In response to the rash of street crime in the Tenleytown/AU Park area, the ANC and MPD will host a community meeting on September 22nd:

MPD will hold a "make up" community meeting next Tuesday, September 22, at 7 pm, in conjunction with ANC 3E commissioners, to discuss the crime uptick in the neighborhood and responses to it. The meeting will be held at St. Mary's Church at 42nd and Fessenden.

City Paper Updates "Humpifiction"

The City Paper has updated the previously covered Chevy Chase speed hump issue by noting:

the ANC requested the speed humps be removed pending the collection of data; it also wants an oversight hearing on the entire process.

The NW Current goes a bit further:

The commission also chastised the agency for not waiting to construct the humps until after the neighborhood commission could weigh in on them.

“What role, if any, does the ANC play in this?” asked neighborhood commissioner Jim McCarthy.

At Monday’s sparsely attended meeting, the commissioners also questioned why the city installed such large speed humps on Morrison Street. “These are the most punitive speed humps that I’ve ever seen, except on Newark Street,” said neighborhood commissioner Peggy Sewell. “Speeding is one thing; trying to scare drivers off their street is totally unacceptable.”

Didn't DDOT Spokesperson John Lisle already answer Commissioner McCarthy's question?

In the past, the agency would require a traffic study be completed for every request. Now, residents simply have to get the majority of their neighbors to sign a petition.

The city's guidelines are clear. What seems murky is why, in July, the ANC didn't do what it said it would do in their June meeting, and why it seems to perpetuate this story rather than helping the others in the community who wish to have speed humps for public safety obtain them.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cheh Hosts Annual BBQ

WHAT: Ward 3 "Back to School BBQ"
WHERE: Friendship ("Turtle") Park located at 4500 Van Ness Street, NW
WHEN: Saturday, September 26, from 11am-4pm

For information please contact (202) 724-8062.

Councilmember Mary Cheh will host the 3rd annual "Back to School BBQ" at Friendship ("Turtle") Park located at 4500 Van Ness Street, NW, on Saturday, September 26 from 11am-4pm. The event will feature the District's own award-winning firefighter barbeque team and information tables from the DC government and public and private organizations. The BBQ will be filled with activities for the entire family including a moon bounce, wacky family races, and great giveaways from our local ward 3 business community and area professional sports teams. The Joy of Motion Dance company will also be on hand to energize the crowd and teach a little hip-hop dance with music played by Ward 3's own DJ Moosic.

The day will end with a game of kick ball between Team Cheh and the Hearst Recreation Center teen club. Come out and enjoy a day of fun, great food, and exciting activities.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tenleytown Fights Development in 1940

Tsarchitect gives a nice account of the neighborhood struggle against the development of the now landmarked Sears building at Albemarle Street and Wisconsin Avenue in 1940.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Truth in Unity?

As forwarded to this forum from the CPCA Listserv, it seems that a CPCA Presidential Candidate has a problem in being fully honest and up front in his representations to the community.

The most recent is associated with a post by a fellow candidate who was promoting a community event on Rosh Hashanah (way to be all-inclusive there, team!). According to Candidate Chelen,

One of our running mates, Sean Mullen, running for Assistant Corresponding Secretary, wasn't permitted to post a message announcing his event at Sorriso this coming Friday. That was inconsistent with Bill Adler's permission for the Aware group to post a message announcing their event last week. Eventually, after I strenuously intervened, that message was permitted to post.

However a Cleveland Park Listserv moderator chimed in:

"We don't know what John Chelen is talking about when he says he "intervened" to get through a post by Sean Mullen. We did not have any exchanges with him about that but wrote directly to Sean Mullen to let him know about the no-crosspost rule. On Sept. 12 we put through Sean's resubmitted message about his meet and greet.

This latest fib is on the heels of allegations that the Reform Slate had removed its association with the "pro-Giant" AWARE moniker. Obviously this is an error. So too, it appears are suggestions that the Reform Slate wants to "kill" the overlay.

According to Chelen:

I've talked to several people from the Reform slate who want to kill it, and you'll find that in their public statements.

Candidate Roth has replied:

I publicly challenged your statement for a reason. Your post informed the community that you had "talked to several people from the Reform slate who want to kill it [the overlay], and you'll find that in their public statements." Several members of the Reform Slate, myself included, have subsequently made public statements very much to the contrary. Further, no one on the Slate, which includes 5 people you have not meet, recall such a conversation or has taken such a position.

So is there truth in Unity, or is this just going to be more of the same?

Sidewalks in Palisades

DDOT appears to have backed of the proposal to install sidewalks on University Terrace in Palisades. According to the City Paper, despite support from Councilmember Mary Cheh, DDOT has postponed the construction to continue to study the issue.

Isn't this public property in a city, no less?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Unity Responds to Giant Appeal

As was indicated, a group of residents have appealed the Zoning Commission decision on Giant. As this issue is the undercurrent for the mantel to represent the whole community at the citizen association level, the response from "either side" is telling.

Unity candidate John Chelen made the following statement on the Cleveland Park Listserv:

It was a surprise for us to learn about the filings regarding the Giant PUD application decision. It's disappointing to have charges leveled at us that we're Anti-Giant.

We see no issue more important than to reinstate a basic level of respect and civility in all discussions.

We came together as a team with respect for our differences. I sought out people with different philosophies and life experiences, different points of view. We tried to reflect the diversity of the neighborhood.

There was no litmus test to join the unity team. No one was asked to state or accept a position on Giant's application, either way.

This statement misses some basic points.

The first, that the members of the Unity slate don't even have enough respect for each other, much less the neighborhood, to disclose community action within the Slate. The neighborhood discovered an important and impactful move, such as potentially delaying a contentious development proposal via a post on the listserv from an unaffiliated individual, not through upfront disclosure either from those who chose this action, or from one of the "team" members who is running for office. Certainly even members of a community slate would have enough respect to disclose the action with each other, much less the broader community?

Second, there is no denouncing the action. If the Unity slate really wanted to bring the community together, it would join with those who have responded on the listserv and with the Reform Slate in moving past the Giant issue to truly unite the community to address other issues. Instead, the community is given lame lipservice that does nothing but continue the kind of acrimony which has caused initial divisions in the community.

As a Reform Slate candidate posted:

Please do not be discouraged with minor setbacks. The trend today in Cleveland Park is toward better communications and more participatory democracy and that binds a neighborhood together much more than sniping and bickering and law suits can pull it apart.

Touche, the community should be encouraging all to move forward and address the important issues which are outstanding, rather than remain mired in the past acrimonious debates.

Friday, September 11, 2009

WNNC Files Appeal in Giant

Greater Greater Washington details several posts on the Cleveland Park Listserv regarding a recent filing by the WNNC - Wisconsin Newark Neighborhood Coalition - to appeal the Zoning Commission approval of the Giant PUD application from August.

So much for "Unity" in the neighborhood.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fenty: Tenley Library will Be Able to Support New Development

An article in the Examiner by Michael Neibauer states that the District will commit up to $1 Million to construct supports able to hold new development atop the replacement Tenleytown library.

This is a partial win for smart growth advocates who have long sought to bring increased density to the neighborhood served by the Metro Red Line and several bus lines.

Wash Post on the State of Cleveland Park

Katherine Shaver suggests in this article that Cleveland Park has seen better days from a retail standpoint. Shaver suggests that, contrary to reports by many longtime residents that the broader economic situation is at fault, the Commercial Overlay , as implemented and enforced in 1989 is the culprit.

She cites the example of Yenching Palace, a former notable Chinese Restaurant which is soon to reopen as a Walgreens, yet is still counted against the food limit despite being closed for an extended period. Similarly a former McDonalds, vacant for several years has suffered the same fate.

Fortunately, Councilmember Mary Cheh has been able to secure monies to help improve the neighborhood infrastructure, including seed money to create a business association, or other community mechanism to better improve the situation. Further, as the article notes, the AWARE group, which was born out of frustration at continued delays for a neighborhood grocery store appears to have morphed into a bona fide community organization as the pending elections for the local community association near.

Friday, September 04, 2009

John Chelen Tosses Hat into CPCA Ring

As posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv:

My name is John Chelen and I'm running for President of the Cleveland Park Citizens' Association.

I have watched with alarm as our community has been torn apart, to some extent by personality issues, but even more so by what I've come to learn are misconceptions about what's good for our neighborhood.

Several neighbors approached me and asked me to run. But before agreeing, I wanted to get to the heart of what's really going on. I've met with dozens of people with different points of view and admittedly still don't have all the answers. However, I've seen enough to know that CPCA might come apart if we don't find a way back to the fundamental values that have inspired us throughout the years. Without a unified CPCA, we all lose.

Cleveland Park faces different challenges than those we thought about even two years ago. I think we all agree that it's time for CPCA to change, time to better reflect the variety in our community, and time to modernize the way the association is run and communicates.

What's exciting is that there's now a shared conviction that CPCA can make a difference. However, recent posts on the listservs have been discouraging. It's time to stop the factual errors, exaggerations, name-calling, and platitudes and begin to address our concerns. I think we can overcome our differences in the spirit of One Neighborhood. It's time to start a process of renewal.

We can't afford to accept simplistic answers to complex issues, nor can we afford leaders who think it's their way or the highway. Today's challenges can best be met with an open mind, in an inclusive, rather than divisive, manner. That's what I hope I can offer to you as your President.

We've put together a diverse team that represents the best of what Cleveland Park has to offer - people with experience and passion who look beyond their own personal short-term interests for greater long-term community benefit. I've asked these people to run with me and they've agreed. But I've also asked them to give me one last chance to reach out to you. If you're interested in joining our team, either by running for office, chairing a committee, or just pitching in, please contact me. I'll do my best to meet with each and every one of you, and then pick from the best and announce our Unity Team on September 8.

Here's a little info about me: I've lived in Cleveland Park for 30 years and have a long history of civic involvement. Professionally I'm a high-tech lawyer. I've helped develop advanced software for federal agencies and social networking and communications models underlying systems you may be using today. I have also incorporated many non-profits and developed model bylaws that effectively enable small groups to work together. Recently I helped organize my immediate neighbors to get essential street improvements that required resolution of competing ideas and cutting through city red tape.

I think we can all agree that Cleveland Park is a wonderful place to live. We have a unique combination of apartment, townhouse and single family residences, with walking access to stores, restaurants, entertainment, schools, parks, and public transit. There is a diversity of ages, ethnic backgrounds, and income levels. Keeping Cleveland Park a great place to live is everyone's goal. That requires maintaining a delicate balance among competing interests.

So, here are my goals:

Keep Cleveland Park safe and cordial, so that our neighborhood is enjoyable for everyone -- families, singles, couples, and empty-nesters.

Keep Cleveland Park dynamic and vibrant, harmonizing the need for neighborhood-serving shops, including restaurants and entertainment, while preserving our quiet spaces.

Restore Cleveland Park's historic reputation for civil discussion and inclusiveness, encourage more members to participate, and ensure that CPCA is open and welcoming to the entire community.

Revise CPCA bylaws to increase transparency and modernize the decision-making process.

Make sure that CPCA benefits us all, not just one interest group or perspective.

In the coming weeks you'll hear more from me and our other candidates who will run on the "Unity" slate with me. We'll focus on the issues many of you have raised, look at both sides, and describe how we think we can solve them, as a community.

In closing, I promise I'll serve as an advocate for all our interests and work for consensus solutions to both our current issues and the unpredictable challenges that, no doubt, will arise in the coming year. I'll work to make Cleveland Park better than it's ever been.

I look forward to your help and your vote.

John Chelen

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Green your Home Expo in Ward 3

Green Your Home Expo
Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 10am to 2pm

University of the District of Columbia - Outdoor Plaza
4200 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, DC
Metro Accessible: Van Ness - UDC Station
(Event Rain Location: Cafeteria B Level, Building 38)

Sponsored by Office of Planning, District Department of the Environment, Office of Councilmember Mary Cheh, and University of the District of Columbia

Come and learn about how to green your home, your neighborhood and save money!

Activities will include: a four-hour expo featuring energy efficiency and renewable energy companies, local advocacy organizations, green product distributors, District agencies and programs, and two panel discussions with experts on climate change and greening homes.

Enjoy live music by UDC Jazz Trio, bicycle eco-tours by Wholeness for Humanity at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm, entertainment for children, and the weekly UDC Farmers' Market!

Exhibitors include:

Astrum Solar
Capital Sun Group, Ltd.
Casey Trees
Clean Currents
Coalition for Smarter Growth
DC Greenworks
DC Office of Planning
District Department of the Environment
Eco-Domo, LLC
Eco-Green Living
Elysian Energy
Green Brilliance
Green Living Consulting
IONA Senior Services
Little Falls Watershed Alliance
Maggio Roofing
Office of Councilmember Mary Cheh
Office Go Green
Packtoozi, LLC
Sharing Backyards
Solar Solution, LLC
Switch Renewable Energy
University of the District of Columbia
Wholeness for Humanity

For more information contact Andrea Limauro, DC Office of Planning by email at andrea.limauro@dc.gov or by phone at 202.442.7605.

Learn more about the Expo and our upcoming Neighborhood Sustainability
Indicators Pilot Project (NSIPP)
(PDF) or this PDF or here.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Cheh: Crime Update in the Ward


My office has been monitoring the reports of crime in the Ward. In response, I asked 2nd District Commander Matthew Klein to help me understand the crime situation in Ward 3 as well as explain what actions are being taken to address these problems. Commander Klein provided a detailed message to me explaining crime statistics in Police Service Areas (PSA) 202 and 204 as well as the Metropolitan Police Department's plan to address crime in these areas. Below are some highlights from that report. Please keep in mind that these statistics refer to the last 30 days compared to the same period of time last year.

I am thankful to Commander Klein for taking seriously our neighborhood's problems with crime. Like many of you, I find some of these trends to be very concerning. My office will remain in contact with Commander Klein to ensure that crime in the Ward continues to be addressed.

Best regards,

Mary Cheh

Crime Statistics

1. There has been a reduction in burglaries: 30% reduction in PSA 202 and 12% reduction in PSA 204.

2. Instances of stolen autos have increased in both PSA 202 (18 this year compared to 11 last year) and 204 (38 this year compared to 27 last year).

3. Instances of theft from autos have increased in both PSA 202 (183 compared to 131 last year) and PSA 204 (26 compared to 20 last year).

Police Actions

1. Second District crime analysts are tracking burglaries, stolen autos, and thefts from autos to identify trends, commonalities, and other information that will aid in closing these cases.

2. The Second District is coordinating with other police districts to identify suspects and track statistics.

3. PSA Lieutenants will meet weekly to review plans and make adjustments in manpower allocations as needed.

4. Members of PSA 202 and 204 will walk door-to-door and disseminate information to residents and alert them of serious incidents that occur. This is also an opportunity for police to gather additional intelligence.

5. Officers will be focused on burglaries, stolen autos, and theft from auto incidents and suspicious individuals associated with those activities.

6. Officers will perform additional patrols in areas of particular interest to look for suspicious activity.

7. The Second District will deploy additional uniformed resources into PSA 202 and PSA 204.

8. Officers will conduct visual inspections of vehicles parked in targeted areas. When valuables are left in plain sight, officers will attempt to locate the owner and advise them of the increased potential for the theft of their property.