Posted tagged ‘children’

MPD Investigating Whether Officers Hit Boy and Left Scene

July 3, 2017

On the evening of June 30th, I was notified by neighbors living on 6th Street between Newton and Otis that at around 7:35 p.m. they heard a thud outside and a child scream. They indicated that it appeared to them that the police car had hit the child. Shortly thereafter, the offices left with the injured boy and his damaged bicycle still in the alley. According to the Washington Post, (read article here), this incident is currently being investigated.

Immediately after receiving the report of this incident, I reached out to Chief Newsham, Assistant Chief Greene, and the Fourth District Commander Manlapaz seeking answers. Both Chief Newsham and Commander Manlapaz responded quickly that they were aware of the incident and investigating it. I’ve since scheduled a meeting with Chief Newsham later this week at which I’ll be addressing this incident among my other public safety concerns.

Regardless of the details of the incident, one thing to me is quite clear … leaving the scene of the incident before an ambulance could arrive to make sure the 11-year old boy was alright is not acceptable. This is not the relationship that we should have between the community and those entrusted to ensure our public safety. Additionally, I think the incident highlights a symptom of a much larger problem — one made worse by the number of retirements and new hires that MPD is currently working through. Because of the attrition rate and efforts to hire new officers, I believe we currently have police offers who are disconnected from the communities they serve for a variety of reasons.

On a human level, no one who knew the community and those who live in it would have left a child in need sitting in an alley. This was demonstrated by the residents of 6th Street who took it upon themselves to ensure that an ambulance was called and made sure that everything would turn out alright. While they were doing the right thing as any neighbor would, to me they are heroes.

For my part, I’ll be seeking a resolution to this that ensures that MPD takes the appropriate corrective action and restores confidence that the incident currently being investigate never happens again.

Hillcrest Children & Family Center Event Successfully Kicks of 200th Anniversary

January 16, 2015

Yesterday, January 15th, the Hillcrest Children & Family Center Kicked off a year of celebrating their 200th Anniversary. Hillcrest was originally called the Washington City Orphan Asylum and founded with the help of First Lady Dolly Madison. I was honored to MC the event which was held at the Octagon House. I’ve included a link to the video for anyone interested in watching the event.

Hillcrest video

Park View Rec Center Helps Feed Hungry Children During Summer Months

July 22, 2014

Hunger2-1024x682(Eight-year-old Chalyn Wright enjoys lunch with her friends at Park View Rec Center. Photo by Margaret Myers/NewsHour)

Thanks to a neighbor who brought this to my attention, I’m sharing a PBS Newshour article that was published on July 16th titled Why summer is the hungriest season for some U.S. kids.  The article focuses on children who rely on free and reduced-price meals when school is in session and how the summer — when schools aren’t in session — become a time of great risk for many of these children in terms of hunger.

According to the article, “this year the problem is expected to be particularly severe after recent reductions in the Food Stamp program in late 2013 left many families skipping meals or buying low-cost junk food at the grocery store to make up the difference.”

To assist hungry children during the summer months, the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation manages more than 200 feeding sites throughout Washington, including the one at the Park View Recreation Center. These sites offer free, healthy meals between June and August.

I’m happy to see that our Rec Center is participating in such an important and meaningful manner to the future of so many local children. I encourage folks to read the full article to learn more about this program and see more photos of it in action at Park View Rec Center.

 

Easter Egg Hunt/Cookout At Park View Rec this Saturday

March 28, 2013

Egg Hunt 2013

Here’s an event that will help break in the newly renovated Park View Recreation Center. This Saturday, March 30, from 1 p.m. to 4  p.m. the Park View Kids Zone will have a moon bounce, snow cones, face painting, relay games, kickball, tug of war, and and egg hunt for the kids. They will also have a spades, uno, and dominos area set up for the older folks and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament happening for high school teens & adults, male and females are welcome to play! Teams need to register by 2 p.m. on Saturday at the sign up table! There will also be food and drinks for everyone! The entire neighborhood is invited to come out!

The days schedule will be as followed:

  • 1 p.m.: Moon Bounce, food, free play, face painting, card games, and music throughout the day!
  • 2 p.m: 3 on 3 Basketball tournament & Free Throw Contest will start and go until 4 p.m.! Relay games and tug of war will start!
  • 3 p.m.: Neighborhood Kickball Game (All ages)
  • 3:30 p.m.: Egg Hunt for kids will start
  • 4 p.m.: Announce winners of 3 on 3 Basketball tournament! Event ends.

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Park View Kids Zone Hosts Easter Egg Hunt at Raymond Rec

April 9, 2012

Some of those enjoying the cook out at Raymond

Not one to be daunted by the renovations at the Park View Recreation Center that have closed the park, Angela Strange and her Park View Kids Zone held their annual cook out and Easter Egg hunt at the Raymond Recreation Center this year. Assisting her were the Young Professionals auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League.

After the cook out, both the children and adults enjoyed a few games of tug of war before the Easter egg hunt began. I was happy to see a few of the oldest kids actually scooping up eggs and then turning them over to the youngest kids that weren’t able to fill their bags as easily as many of the elementary-aged kids could.

After the egg hunt, the day rounded out with a game of kick ball.

Children gathering before the start of the egg hunt

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At Long Last … Renovations at the Park View Recreation Center Get Underway

April 6, 2012

Start of the project, removing the tree at the tot lot

After many, many false starts, twists, and turns, the renovation and redesign of the open spaces at the Park View Recreation Center has finally begun. The current project was initially proposed in the late summer of 2009 and is only now moving forward. While there were many reasons for the on-again, off-again planning of this project, for many who live in the community it was seen as yet one more broken promise with little to no real intent to actually accomplish anything at Park View.

Fortunately, there were those in the community that were not willing to let this project fade into oblivion and kept the ball rolling by consistently working with Councilmember Graham and DPR Director Aguirre.

Below are some images of the work in progress, which started this week. You can also read more about the project and see the plan by going here.

Tot lot nearly dismantled

Removal of basketball court

Excavating the former athletic field

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Trolley Turnaround Park Opens (11th & Monroe) — Ribbon Cutting to Come

February 20, 2012

Visitors on the first full day after the park was opened included Commissioner Aquiline (1A05) with her family

The long awaited reopening of the park at 11th and Monroe Streets, NW, finally happened on Friday, February 17, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. An official ribbon cutting is tentatively scheduled for March 3rd. Additional details on that  are still coming. The groundbreaking for the park’s renovation occurred on August 15, putting the duration of the work at six months from start to finish.

Planning for the current iteration of the park, commonly referred to as Trolley Turnaround Park (though the original trolley design is actually a trolley loop) was in the works well before it was presented to ANC 1A in April 2010. The surrounding community has been particularly vigilant in seeing this project through. Much of this attention has to do with how long the project has taken to complete and the past renovations, upkeep, and oversight of the property.

Basic layout of the renovated park, as presented in early 2010

An indication of just how important this park is to the community occurred on January 28, 2012, when the park appeared to be complete but a contractor neglected to lock the gates. The park was full of parents and their children. Upon notification, DPR immediately locked the park gates. Indeed, the work was complete, but the site had not yet been inspected by DPR’s safety officer to ensure that play equipment and areas were installed properly and safely. That early taste of the new park lead to frustrated emails on the Columbia Heights listserv over the following weeks.

The hardscape areas at the park now include bands of dark brick, which indicate where the original streetcar tracks once were

Some on the community concern over the park’s renovations has more to do with the park’s history than with the current project. Efforts to improve the property can be found as far back as 1990, when the neighbors organized to clean the property and the ANC considered names for the park. As the property deteriorated, the park was again reclaimed around 1998 with play equipment and a maintenance agreement signed by DPR. Again, the property deteriorated and complaints of broken glass, dog and human feces, and broken bottles increased until the park was again renovated in 2002 after neighbors enlisted Councilmember Graham’s support.

Medallions modeled after Capitol Transit tokens are incorporated into the new design

And now, ten years later, the park has again been renovated to improve its ability to serve the community, update the play area, and address concerns with its access. While time will tell if this is a more permanent solution than past efforts, it is clear that this renovation is far more interesting than what has gone before. The design incorporates many references to the park’s original use by streetcars and uses those elements to provide an education component.

Some of the historical details included in the design are different colored bricks showing where the original streetcar rails were located, the inclusion of medallions on the surrounding fence inspired by Capitol Transit Company tokens, and a historical photograph of the Silver Sightseer located at the Monroe Street entrance. In addition to this, there is an outright educational panel located just inside the 11th Street entrance. A copy of that panel is below.

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