Notes from the January PSA 302/409 Crime Meeting

Posted January 18, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Crime, MPD, Public Safety, Public Safety, Shootings

Tags: , , ,

The January PSA 302/409 meeting at the 4Th District Substation on Park Road included some changes and case updates.

The biggest change was that PSA 409 now has a new Lieutenants, Sean Connors, who will be working the evening tour of duty. Prior to his assignment at the Fourth District, he was a sergeant at the Second District for a little over 3 years and an officer assigned to the Sixth District for almost 5 years. Lieutenant Jonathan Munk, who has been serving PSA 409 will be moving to PSA 408 in the Mount Pleasant area.

The meeting began with officers for both the 3rd and 4th Districts reviewing crime statistics and stating that crime is largely down across the board in comparison to last year. While this may be true when considering events in the overall areas represented by the reports, a good amount of time was spent discussing how that isn’t necessarily true for the Park View area which straddles both the Third and Fourth districts along Georgia Avenue.

Residents at the meeting focused the discussion largely on problem properties on the 600 block of Newton Place, NW, and asked about the process for getting a property recognized as a nuisance property. It is the Office of the Attorney General that determines when a property is a nuisance, and the process does take some time, but the officers at the meeting confirmed that they are aware of the properties, working to address them, and patrolling the area regularly.

Regarding the shootings in December, 3D Commander Emerman was at the meeting and shared that an arrest has been made in the double shooting at Georgia and Fairmont that occurred on December 29th. The charge is assault with intent to kill.

Commander Emerman also shared that a second arrest has been made in the shooting that occurred on December 20th on the 600 block of Morton Street.

With regards to shooting cases in the area, the 3rd District Prosecutor of the United States Attorney Office for the District of Columbia asked residents to consider writing community impact statements related to the arrest following the August 25th incident where an individual fired shots down the escalators at the Columbia Heights Metro Station.

At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Boese noted that the 14th Street businesses Jimmy Johns, Jenkins BBQ, Gussini, and Children’s Place are all closed or closing, and asked if the increase in vacant store fronts would impact MPDs police deployment. In response, Commander Emerman stated that this section of 14th Street is already a focus area with high call volume, and the store closings wouldn’t impact their deployment or patrols.

The meeting wrapped up shortly after 8 pm.

New Fashion Tailoring Program at Park View Recreation Center

Posted January 17, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Department of Parks and Recreation, Sports leisure and entertainment

Tags:

Park View Field House at the Recreation Center

I’ve been informed that the Park View Recreation Center now has a tailoring program, located in the Field House building. The program is Tuesday through Thursday, 1-7 pm. The program is free.

Below is an overview of the program for anyone interested in participating.

Fashion Tailoring Program
(Free Community Program (for adults and teens))

Schedule
Tuesday 1:00-7:00pm
Wednesday 1:00-7:00pm
Thursday 1:00-7:00pm

Instructor: Jhaz Phifer
Location: Park View Recreation (Field House) 693 Otis Place NW Washington DC 20009

Curriculum

  • Basic Tailoring and Alterations
  • Hat making

For all your basic tailoring and alterations feel free to bring items to the center (field house).

Contact
Jhaz the Tailor
202-609-2217

Checking Out Kraken Axes

Posted January 16, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Development, Small Businesses

Tags: , ,

Kraken Axes has opened in the former Murray’s at 3400 Georgia Avenue.

Over the weekend I had an opportunity to visit Kraken Axes, one of Park View’s newest business. Kraken Axes opened in mid-December 2017 and is centered on the the sport of axe throwing in which the competitor throws an axe at a target, attempting to hit the bulls eye as near as possible. Its kind of like darts, but with axes.

In stopping by, I was able to Kraken Axes’ Anna Valero, who gave me a great welcome and overview. Valero informed me that the sport of axe throwing comes from Canada, and they hope to be in the neighborhood for years to come.

The short video sums it up nicely.

Two more photos from the visit:

(Speaking with Anna Valero.)

Renovations at Park View School Begin

Posted January 9, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Historic Landmarks, Restoration repair and maintenance, Schools

Tags: , ,

In December 2017, months of planning and design work to construct a new cafeteria, new parking lot, and renovated restrooms at the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School began.

The overall scope of the kitchen project includes a new and larger cafeteria and dining space, which will be constructed in the school’s north gymnasium. When this is completed, a gymnasium will be constructed in the former kitchen space. Current and past documents and reports related to this project can be found here.

As of the January update from the School Improvement Team, the ground floor bathroom demolition work began of the Winter break, and a dust barrier has been installed to keep the bathroom demolition area separated from the corridor.

A barrier wall has also been installed in the gymnasium to separate construction activity from areas still in use by the school. Photos of each are below.

(Construction workers inside the bathrooms.)

(A wooden panel to reinforce the gym barrier wall.)

Limited-stop 59 Bus Service on 14th Street is Now

Posted January 8, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Bus service, traffic

Tags: ,

This morning, shortly after 8 a.m., Mayor Bowser kicked off the start of the 59 bus on 14th Street. Limited-service express bus-like service has long been a goal of the community and the local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions along the route.

The new MetroExtra limited-stop service will operate along 14th Street NW between the Takoma and Federal Triangle Metrorail stations. The weekday only service will run every 15 minutes during rush hours, 6:30-9:30 a.m. and 3:45-7:00 p.m. Buses will serve 16 stops along the route providing connections to Metrorail and business, educational and shopping destinations.

This morning’s kick off began with remarks by Mayor Bowser, followed by Councilmembers Todd and Nadeau, and lastly DDOT Director Jeff Marootian. Following the remarks, those assembled were able to ride the first 59 bus with Mayor Bowser, getting on at 14th and Buchanan as far as 14th and U Street, NW.

(Mayor Bowser riding on the 59 bus.)

The map below shows where the 59 bus stops are located along the route:

Jewish-Inspired Deli Coming to Park View

Posted January 5, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Development, Small Businesses

Tags: , ,

According to the Washington Post earlier this week, the team behind Timber Pizza plans to open a Jewish-inspired deli next year in the former Mothership/Alfie’s space at Georgia Avenue and Lamont called Call Your Mother. The Washington Post article states: “The deli will specialize in bagels. Not Montreal bagels. Not New York bagels. But something of a hybrid.”

We should have a good sense of how quickly they’ll be opening just by watching construction progress, as the owners will need to renovate the building which currently has a commercial kitchen occupying much of the space.

This is very good news indeed for the start of 2018!

 

Brief Notes from Park View Crime Meeting

Posted January 4, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Crime, MPD, Public Safety, Shootings

Tags: , ,

Last night’s emergency crime meeting organized by Councilmember Nadeau and including Commanders from MPD’s Third and Fourth District was packed to the gills. This is all the more remarkable as the meeting was announced just over 26 hours in advance and scheduled from 6:30-7:00 pm. With over five shootings in Park View since December 24th, it was clear that the community is both angry and concerned about the day-to-day public safety in the community. I also noted that there were community members from Petworth, Columiba Heights, and other nearby neighborhoods in attendance. The image below, from Twitter, gives a good sense of how crowded the Park View Recreation Center was.

While the meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes, it ran long and cut into the regularly scheduled Park View UNC meeting by about 20 minutes.

It was announced at the start that the subject of public safety is important and CM Nadeau recognized that 30 minutes would not be enough time to fully address the issue. Because of this a follow up meeting is expected to be scheduled to continue the discussion.

The overall format of the meeting began with CM Nadeau addressing the assembly, stating what she has been doing and listing the legislation she has been working on to make streets safer, such as her Street Harassment Bill. Following CM Nadeau, Commander Wil Manlapaz (4D) and Commander Stuart Emerman (3D) gave an overview of the recent violent crime in the community, where MPD is on these cases, and what steps they are doing.

On this front, the shootings have been describes as unrelated. In some cases they’ve already made arrests (such as the shooting on the 600 block of Morton Street), and in others the cases are still open. It was also noted that MPD is aware of motives behind some of the shootings, whereas in others there is no known motive at present.

In response, both 3D and 4D have increased their presence in the community with patrol officers, along with members of MPD’s Crime Suppression Teams.

Following MPD’s reports, neighbors were given the opportunity to ask questions. However, due to the time, all questions were asked at the same time with CM Nadeau, Manlapaz, and Emerman then following to answer the questions en mass.

It is difficult to say how successful the meeting was due to the limited opportunity to engage in a deep and robust manner.

Questions and topics ranged from where things are with implementing the NEAR Act (which wasn’t answered due to time), asking MPD leadership and CM Nadeau to specifically state what they were doing to restore community safety, and asking how to break the known cycle of events that occur on the 600 block of Newton Place.

I stated that it is difficult to hear that violent crime is down 28% in the District of Columbia from 2014 through 2017, when the same period for the area 1,500 ft. around 600 Newton Place shows assaults with a violent weapon (gun) up by 42.8%. I followed up that in 2017 the Crime Map application officially reports 10 shootings in Park View, with 4 in December alone, and that to me shootings are essentially failed homicides. In his response to this point, Commander Emerman agreed.

I also strongly advocated for all of Ward 1, and Park View and Columbia Heights in particular, to be in a single police district. Beyond the logistics of deploying officers, one of the results of the divided nature of the neighborhood between two police districts is that residents don’t always know which officers to contact with regards to crime in the community, and we can’t easily get crime statistics for our neighborhood because of the fractured manner with which the neighborhood stats are available. Commander Emerman again stated that there is a new crime data application being developed to replace Crime Map and that it should be easier to use for residents.

I’ve barely touched on all that was said at the meeting. The room was crowded, extremely warm, and the pace was fairly quick. If you were there and have corrections or additions to share, please do so below.


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