Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Taking our cues from that former Alaska Governor I see...

My response to Marc Ambinder's piece on Michelle Rhee's Departure:

She has a plan allright...while Marc's piece is pretty balanced, I am sick of this martyrdom of Michelle Rhee crap...Andrea Mitchell's interview of her during NBC's Education Nation series a few weeks ago was sickening enough to watch. Michelle Rhee has balls, she's done some tough stuff here and kick-started much needed change but she burned a lot of bridges along the way and she seemed to get some perverse thrill out of it. I agree, all the talk about whether she would leave or stay was serving as a distraction but she's the one who gave those stories the most traction with her comments and body language. The lapdog media ran with it and so it gave her a very timely excuse to duck out. I am sure she will parley this into some lucrative self-aggrandizing deal (oops, I thought it was all about the kids Michelle). Reminds me of another public figure who blamed the media circus around her self-created drama to quit and then ralley her own band of followers and accrue the money and status that goes with these days: Sarah, oh Mrs. Palin, please do take a bow!

No wonder Rahm called this F***nutsville, although I might say that label could apply to our country more generally. Is there substance to anything anymore or it all just money and fluff?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Big Things poppin'

Helping out my partner in crime, the Advoc8te over at Congress Heights on the Rise...

Apparently something big is going down across the river in Anacostia on September 10, sure to sign up for an email notification with specifics and plan on kicking it that evening in Anacostia to see what's happening.

Stay tuned for more details as they become available!

Monday, August 2, 2010

ANCs...going rouge!

Community development/international development is my thing so in this 'federal city' that I presently reside a democratic body of community-minded individuals coming together to deal with neighborhood issues would ordinarily be a good thing.

The Advisory Neighborhood Commissions of Washington, DC in my opinion, however, don't cut it.

Of course, this intransigence goes ways back and extends to ANCs all around the city but most recently, we have the case of Big Bear Cafe's recent ABRA license support request to ANC5C that quickly went nuclear...complete with three postponed votes and a massive oppo dump once they did decide to go on the record.

This is further buttressed by a report from Rosedale Citizens' Alliance, of an ANC7D Commissioner apparently trying to shut down the Kingman Park-Rosedale Community Garden located in an interior block near E and 20th Streets NE. The purported reason are mosquitoes as a result of the garden's rain barrels and a generic claim that contaminated soil is being used to grow the vegetables/fruits. The neighborhood coordinator of the garden is adament that the rain barrels are covered with a mesh material to prevent access to the water by female mosquitoes and how ludicrous does it sound that a bunch of community garden folks would want to be growing food that they are actually consuming in "contaminated soil"...whatever the heck that means?

Do the ANC Commissioners who make these spurious claims ever bother to make sure their arguments are at least logical? This contaminated soil claim along with many of the allegations made about Big Bear simply sound like what they are...utter hogwash.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Partay time!

Some community events are coming up...two in the neighborhood and one in Anacostia that I promised my friend I would help promote. In chronological order, they are:

Anacostia: Never Far From Home > Opening reception July 30th @ 6:30pm

The Gallery at Vivid Solutions hosts Anacostia: Never Far From Home, a look at the past and present of Anacostia, with the help from local bloggers Fred Joiner (, Nikki Peele ( and David Garber( This interactive exhibition includes community participation -- everyone is invited to bring their own photographs to hang on the community wall and assist the gallery in telling a visual story of Anacostia. The exhibit will evolve over the course of the show, as local residents and bloggers react to and build their story.

(Contact us to be involved: / 202-365-8392)

Exhibit will be on display until September 10th, 2010. Melani Douglass will leading educational workshops during this exhibit, if interested please contact her at:

2010 Fellowship Festival > July 31, 2010 from 11am-4pm
sponsored by the North Capitol Street & Rhode Island Avenue Ecumenical Council of Churches

This community fellowship event will take place at the Harry Thomas Sr. Recreation Center at Seaton Place and Lincoln Road NE. Live entertainment, FREE health screenings, food/drinks, games, face painting, etc.
This event is free and open to the public...come out and meet Eckington and Bloomingdale community members in a fun and festive atmosphere.

First on 1st Bloomingdale Art Walk > Saturday, August 7, 2010 from 12-4pm
sponsored by North Capitol Main Street

Find it along First Street, NW (between Florida and Rhode Island Avenues, NW). Come out for live music, activities, and some outstanding art!

More information at: The Pink Line Project

Monday, July 12, 2010

Liquor License = F-bomb

Just came from the Eckington Civic Association meeting...

Thankfully, it was brief, especially since I screwed up the time and had to run up and down the street a few times, all under the watchful eyes of the neighborhood youths hanging out on the corner.

It seems like every community meeting I have been to (it's been awhile I know), whenever the word liquor license is dropped, someone might just as well have dropped the f-bomb or cursed someone's mother. Whenever those two words pass someone's lips here in DC, the tone of everyone changes and semi-confrontation is in the air.

Tonight, we found out that the firehouse on N. Capitol, a beautiful piece of architecture, is finally going to see life once more (some of us hope) as a restaurant and tapas lounge. The gentleman the developer has signed a lease with is from an immigrant background and has extensive experience with restaurant operations. Of course, once the white developer asked for support for their liquor license application, some people chose to get their dander up and make sure the developer fully understood that he needed to abide by a very strict process, at least with respect to gaining the support of the ANC. Of course, the ANC just released their draft guidelines this past week...they haven't even been formally adopted yet...but 'you better make sure everything is in order'. Oh and while we're at it, those of us who feel the need to show off our "authoritah" (think South Park) will ask you crazy questions like whether your property is actually zoned commercial and whether you're trying to sneak a 'Go-Go' club in under the radar on N. Capitol St. Seriously folks! I couldn't stay quiet on the Go-Go comment and noted that we could have a more positive view on the project but that went over like a lead balloon. The developer had the ultimate trump card in hand though, when he mentioned that there would be north of 100 jobs at stake in the project. Once the dog and pony show was over, we got around to approving an ECA meeting for the 2nd where the developer and lessor will make a formal presentation to the neighborhood folks gathered...and a subsequent vote to lend ECA support will follow on the 16th. You can be sure I will be at both meetings.

The ANC will be a whole different ball of wax and I am sure we'll run through the same liquor license 'respect my authoritah' charade again...ughhh...once again, wish some folks could liberate themselves from mental slavery (and I have some good reggae tracks I can cite to back me up on that point).

Before I new info on the shooting but will try to see what I can find out via the list-serve.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Heat is on...

Well, just into July now and I have been on sabbatical...not really, though I wish I was. Had some good job leads over the last month that took a lot of my attention and I have needed to focus on personal issues. Anyway, I am back...

Another reason for my lack of posting is the fact that I haven't been able to attend a lot of the recent community meetings and feel like I haven't been as up on the issues as of late. Checking out our Eckington list-serv just a moment ago...I have fresh fodder.

1) Apparently there was a shooting near the 100 blk of Todd Place late Thursday afternoon...that's pretty damn close to where I live. I am not sure on the full details but the ECA Meeting is coming up on Monday so I hope to learn more about what exactly occurred. Regardless, of the precise cause there has been a lot of "traffic" in the area lately and I am not talking vehicular. I just nod, smile, ask 'how's it going?' and move along but I am very perceptive and the vibe isn't necessarily the greatest.

2) My other message is to conserve power folks! I was reading about the miserable state of affairs for people in the southern half of Eckington and, from over at Frozen Tropics, I understand parts of H St. and Trinidad were also without power during this most recent spike in temps. I am sure PEPCO needs to do a much better job but, from the house I live in, I know we all could do better at keeping our AC set to reasonable temps and remembering to turn it down when you're going out, unless you have a pet or someone home-bound. Granted I am more heat tolerant than most but on my most recent days at home, while having the AC on, I do try to keep the lights off as much as is feasible and let in some natural light. Also, if you have a clothes line, dry your clothes outside in this blazing solar energy from above! Several of my neighbors have been doing that lately and I would join them, if I only had the line. If you really must use your dryer, do so in the evening when power demand is less. It's easy to blame the utility (and they have their issues) but we also have responsibilities too and need to do our part to help make sure our aging electrical grid can survive the extra burden when it's hot out.

Some more energy saving tips from our friends in California here.

In the meantime, stay cool!