Overview from DPR Basketball Meeting (Tournament is On) and Thoughts on DPR

Posted March 9, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Department of Parks and Recreation, Sports leisure and entertainment

Tags: , ,

On Wednesday March 7th, representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation met with neighbors to discuss the annual Ty Hop Basketball Tournament. The basketball tournament has been held at the rec center since 2002, with no tournament in 2016. It was clear from the start that DPR is committed to continuing the tournament, but are open to feedback on days of the week, times, and length of the tournament (six weeks instead of 8 weeks?). Unlike years past, this year they are focusing the tournament for ages 15 years and younger instead of ages 24-40.

DPR has stated that they will organize a follow up meeting in 3-4 weeks to continue to work with the community on additional details for the tournament.

As in years past, the meeting centered on the need for a public safety plan in the community and concerns about gun violence. This is something that all in attendance who spoke up stressed — whether they were in favor of the tournament or not. Disappointingly, while MPD officers attended the meeting, they largely observed and offered very little, event when asked directly for their input.

The meeting, which began at 7 pm and wrapped up around 8:30 or so, was at times heated and emotional — with some citing the tournament as a valuable experience that helps bring people together and break down racism and bias — to others expressing concern that directly or indirectly gun violence has occurred around and near the rec center during tournament times and that no one should have to teach their children to duck and cover — and others still expressing that the tournament has a long history in the neighborhood and that those who have moved to the neighborhood need to accept that this is part of the community and to not push it out.

In my opinion, DPR can do a better job when it comes to working with the community to organize events. Here are three areas where I believe DPR has dropped the ball.

  1. An annual basketball tournament is fine and should be a community building event, however DPR continues to strike me as focusing only on being responsible for what happens on their property and relying on the community or MPD to control what occurs off their property. Technically, this may be where the responsibilities are, but we need to have a collaborative and integrated public safety approach for events that draw larger numbers of participants for longer periods of time. This is no different than other large events in the city whether it be the Funk Parade or a city festival.
  2. DPR repeatedly stated the longevity of the tournament as its justification for its continuation. As the tournament continues to have a large number of participants I can agree a basketball tournament still has value. However, the neighborhood has also changed a lot since 2002 when the tournament first began. Park View is far more diverse with many young families that equally value other activities. DPR needs to change and adapt along with the community — meaning that basketball should no longer be the only event at the Rec Center. Today the Rec Center needs to do this with a diverse summer program of actives. I don’t see DPR taking the lead on this.
  3. DPR needs to listen. Neighbors do advocate for activities they would like to see at the Rec Center in addition to what is offered now. For the past couple of years parents have repeatedly asked for the small children’s pool to open earlier on Saturday, and I sent Directer Anderson a letter to that effect from ANC1A last year. Similarly, when former Mayor Fenty and Councilember Graham first proposed to renovate Park View Rec Center’s baseball field with a new artificial turf baseball field in 2010, I pointed out that no one in the neighborhood played baseball and led neighbors to push for neighborhood servicing improvements which were delivered in 2012. DPR’s failure to listen before they make decisions sets up a contentious and divisive process before their first conversations with the community even occur. This needs to stop.

Ultimately we need a DPR that is a true community partner. One that is responsive, one that is engaged, and one that values the diverse and ever changing needs of every neighborhood.

Meeting on Summer Basketball in Park View Scheduled for Wednesday, March 7th

Posted March 4, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Sports leisure and entertainment


At the request of Department of Parks and Recreation representatives, they will be at the March 7th Park View UNC meeting to discuss the summer basketball tournament that has been held at the Park View Recreation Center in years past.

The meeting will be held at the Park View Recreation Center, and begins at 7 pm. See flyer below.

First Friday Tomorrow — Screening of Movie “City of Trees”

Posted March 1, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, Small Businesses

Tags: , ,

Tomorrow is the next First Friday on Georgia Avenue, from 6 pm – 9 pm. First Friday’s celebrate the small businesses in our neighborhood and allow neighbors to enjoy all they have to offer from food and drink specials to books, yoga, etc., fun and live music and art. For the list of participating businesses check here and look for the First Friday posters in store windows. Also, on Friday look for First Friday chalk marks in front of participating businesses.

This month, there are a few “special events” for Friday worth highlighting and a kid friendly activity all around the “theme” for Green Spaces including green spaces for dogs.

Green Spaces — “City of Trees” movie screening
Green spaces are an important part of our lives and DC neighborhoods and they contribute to our health and well being. DC documentary film makers Meridian Hill Pictures (meridianhillpictures.com) will showcase a story about green spaces,  community and the efforts of DC’s “Washington Parks and People” (washingtonparks.net) in their documentary “City of Trees” (cityoftreesfilm.com). Meridian Hill Pictures is making the film available for a free community screening during First Friday. Come to Colony Club (www.colonyclub.com) at 3118 Georgia Ave NW, the film will start at around 7:30pm. Washington Parks and People will join the community for the event.

An example of the wide range of use of our green spaces will be a an installation by Noa Heyne (https://www.noa-heyne.com/) at the Bruce Monroe Site as part of CulturalDC’s “SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery”.  Take a sneak peak from 5-7 pm on Friday before its official opening on Saturday. Thanks to District Bridges for making that connection.

Kid Friendly Activity
For kids, Walls of Books is going with the dog and outdoor theme and are hosting the author of “The Adventures of Prada Enchilada” (www.adckid.comwww.facebook/theadventuresofpradaenchilada) with interactive storytelling that the kids will enjoy. (And Walls of Books has some “treats” for the parents as well in addition to the opportunity to stock up on some winter/spring reads)

With so much available on Friday night, there’s no need to stay home. Come out and have a great time!

Love to Garden and Volunteer? Plots Available at the Armed Forces Retirement Home

Posted February 27, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

The garden at the Armed Forces Retirement Home provides Residents and individuals from the surrounding neighborhoods an opportunity to garden, build friendships, and have fun. The Friends of the Soldiers Home manages the garden in partnership with the AFRH.

Joining the garden entails a volunteer commitment of two hours per month and annual dues of $25 for a 200 square foot plot or $35 for 400 square feet (for experienced gardeners, subject to availability). Plots are for growing annual flowers and vegetables for household use.

Volunteer duties include helping AFRH Residents to garden and helping with events for the Residents as well as mowing, weeding, and mulching the common areas of the garden.

For more information contact Sarah Bohl at sarahtrelle(at)gmail(dot)com

Save the Date: Community Meeting on March 10th to Discuss 1125 Spring Rd. Benefits

Posted February 23, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Architecture, Development, Housing

Tags: , ,

Working drawing of 1125 Spring Road proposal.

ANC 1A and ANC 4C will be hosting a joint meeting on Saturday, March 10 at Raymond Recreation in the large upstairs meeting room from 1:30-3:30 pm on the Community Benefits Agreement for 1125 Spring Road NW (the redevelopment of the former Hebrew Home and Robeson School site).

During this meeting, we will discuss the various community benefits that have been brought up during past community conversations (including the 3 meetings hosted by the development team in December and January 2018) AND any new ideas in order to get residents’ and other stakeholders’ input on what the final version of community benefits will be proposed to the development team. Please keep in mind that certain key components of the development itself (# of housing units, # parking spaces on site, etc.) cannot be altered through this process. Rather this process is about additional community benefits that we will ask the development team to provide, including but not limited to, on-site community amenities such as park space or infrastructure improvements nearby.


Please note that the development team will be holding a separate meeting in late March/early, early April on the final draft community benefits agreement (drafted between the ANC’s and the Team) as well. The date and time of that meeting will be finalized and announced soon.

The goal of both of these meetings is to ensure that the community receives multiple opportunities to provide feedback before the ANC’s look to pass resolutions regarding the community benefits agreement(s) at our April 11th meetings.

If you have any ideas you’d like to share on community benefits prior to the meeting (or in addition to), please send those to either Commissioner Bennett Hilley (Petworth/Ward 4 area) or Commissioner Kent Boese (Columbia Heights/Ward 1 area).

CulturalDC SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery Coming to Bruce Monroe Park

Posted February 21, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Art

Tags: , , ,

District Bridge‘s Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street program has partnered with CulturalDC to host CulturalDC’s SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery at the Bruce Monroe Park from March 3rd to April 13th. It will feature Noa Heyne’s Posthumus Adaptations! The Mobile Art Gallery is a retrofitted 40 ft. shipping container that moves to different locations across the District, with a new exhibit and free public programming in each neighborhood it visits.

There is only one installation in each Ward so this is a unique opportunity with the Georgia Avenue community! You can check out a short video of the earlier installations at The Yards, Smithsonian National Zoo, and Union Market below.

CulturalDC is also looking for volunteers who are interested in contemporary art and can assist with engaging with visitors of the gallery, relaying gallery rules, and answering any questions visitors may have. Shifts in the Mobile Art Gallery will range from 4-6 hours Wednesdays-Sundays. If you are interested in volunteering with CulturalDC, please email Lizzy Barringer at Space4(at)culturaldc(dot)org.

Next Park View Cleanup’s on March 3rd

Posted February 20, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, Volunteerism

Tags: ,

Georgia Avenue Thrive will hold its next cleanup at 10 a.m., Saturday March 3rd at the corner of Georgia and Kenyon.

Immediately following, volunteers will meet at Colony Club for a complimentary drink. This is Georgia Avenue Thrive’s latest neighborhood get-together, a great opportunity to connect with neighbors.

To celebrate the two-year anniversary of Thrive’s cleanups, they’ll debut their new, fancy trash-pickers, and professional-grade gloves.

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