Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tenleytown Business Honored

According to NBC4's Tom Sherwood, Middle C Music was honored by a national trade magazine as one of the top business in the United States.

People talk a lot about how small businesses are the backbone of our economy. It's nice when a local business is recognized.

In Tenleytown, the little music store that could -- Middle C Music -- made the cover of Music Inc., a trade publication. Well, actually, Middle C owner Myrna Sislen made the cover. "I am thrilled beyond words by this honor," she said tunefully.
Sislen's store was featured among the 25 best small business ideas from the 2007 winter trade show that attracted more than 80,000 attendees.

Middle C is celebrating its fifth year in business under Sislen. She saved it from going out of business, has doubled its size and offers music lessons of all types.

A few horn toots for Middle C would be entirely appropriate.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

ROMP underway on Cleveland Park

ROMP has officially begun the 2007 Fundraising Campaign to raise money for needed renovations to Macomb Park. If you have not yet received our fundraising letter in the mail, you should receive it this week. Our goal is to raise $29,500 by summer to replace the seesaw damaged by hurricane Isabel, add a bouncy spring feature for younger children, install more challenging equipment for 6-12 year olds in the lower playground, and purchase new computers and air conditioning for the field house. We hope everyone in the neighborhood will consider contributing to this worthy cause. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ward 3 Phone Home

DC Examiner reporter Courtney Mabeus reports the strange circle of technology at DCPS:

Nearly all District of Columbia public schools in Ward 3 reported spotty or no phone service Thursday, about a week after Verizon cut their service under a District plan to get rid of little-used or unused lines.

Public school and Office of Finance and Revenue officials blamed each other for the problem Thursday.

Phones at Eaton Elementary and Deal junior high schools remained out Thursday and officials at several others reported that their phones had been out for part of the week.

“My concern is, what’s the impact on family safety?” Terry Lynch, whose daughter attends Deal, asked Thursday. He said he learned of the problem on a school list serve.

“It’s unfathomable to me that this problem has carried on like this and nothing has been done yet,” Lynch said.

Verizon spokeswoman Christy Reap said the District’s Office of Finance turned in 1,500 lines to be disconnected under the city’s Zero Usage Project. The disconnects began March 8.

Verizon is working to restore service as soon as possible, Reap said.

Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso sent an e-mail March 15 to City Administrator Dan Tangherlini stating that Woodrow Wilson Senior High School and Eaton did not have phone service.

“Who can we contact to make sure this is handled in a way that doesn’t backfire?” Reinoso asked in the e-mail.

Tangherlini forwarded the e-mail to District technology officers asking for help fixing the problem.

On March 15, Dennis Gill, director of resource management in the Office of Finance and Resource Management responded, saying that D.C. Public Schools had identified 1,175 lines to cut, and later identified additional lines at Eaton to cut.

“After personally researching this issue, I can state without fear of contradiction that the numbers identified ... were provided by DCPS (the only possible source) and this information provided to Verizon,” Gill wrote.

Schools spokesman John White said officials were looking into the issue.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cleveland Park Nursing Home to Close

The Northwest Curret reported this week that the Beverly Living Nursing Home of 3333 Wisconsin Avenue has provided notice to the District Department of Health of its intention to close the facility by June.

ANC 3C Chair Nancy MacWood has offered this update:

I am anticipating that there may be a need for information about the news that the Beverly Nursing Home on Wisconsin Ave. is closing this facility. The 90 day notice that they were required to post with the Dept. of Health will expire in June. During the 90 day period, many families who have loved ones in the facility will be exploring their options for relocation. After the 90 day period, the facility staff become more involved in helping to place patients; in other words, making sure that everyone has an appropriate placement. Some of these patients have been in the facility for over 20 years. The process of closing down the facility is estimated to take 9-12 months.

There are more than 300 employees who will be looking for new jobs. Several DC agencies are working with the facility to help with this transition.

The building has not been sold based on information I received today. As I learn more, I will keep the listserv updated.

It will be interesting to see how this transition proceeds, and what becomes of the property, located at Wisconsin and Newark, across from the Wisconsin Avenue Giant.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ward 3 School Receives Global First

Sidwell Friends has been awarded a Platinum level LEED rating for the Middle School. It is the first secondary school in the United States to have a LEED Platinum rating and the first LEED Platinum building in the District of Columbia.

Created by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1993, LEED (which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environment quality. It is the industry standard certification program that defines high-performance green buildings and awards credits for various green building attributes. There are four levels of certification: certified, silver, gold, and platinum. The more credits, the higher the recognition and certification. In order to be a highly visible, national, model building that could serve as a demonstration site and a teaching facility, Sidwell Friends believes that platinum certification will best assist us in accomplishing this goal.

Monday, March 19, 2007

More on the new Signal

As previously blogged, DDOT unveiled a new traffic signal at the intersection of Connecticut and Morrison Street in Chevy Chase, DC.

The light is novel in its approach to ensure pedestrian safety from all comers by going to a full red in all four directions upon call by a pedestrian. Given all of the incidents around town in the recent past, it is great that DDOT is being proactive in addressing pedestrian safety.

The issue at hand, however is the timing of the launch of the light. It was discussed at the recent ANC 3/4G meeting that the light would not begin operation until the timing was measured and programmed, such that the light would synchoronize to the adjacent lights at the closest intersections. However, as noted on the Chevy Chase Listserv, the current situation is giving too much preference to pedestrians at the expensive of safe vehicular operation.

This is a great program and all should hope for its successful implementation. Let's give DDOT the time to work out the kinks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New type of traffic signal unveiled in Chevy Chase, DC

From a DC Department of Transportation press release:


(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) on Thursday, March 15, will activate a new pedestrian activated signal just south of Chevy Chase Circle at Connecticut Avenue at Morrison Street.

This new signal is the first of its kind in the District. It features an exclusive pedestrian light that will allow pedestrians to cross Connecticut Avenue without interference from turning vehicles.

When not activated, motorists on Connecticut Avenue will have a flashing yellow light and motorists on Morrison Street will have a flashing red light.

When a pedestrian pushes the button to cross Connecticut Avenue, the signal on Connecticut Avenue will change to solid yellow, then solid red while the Morrison Street signal changes to solid red.

Next, the pedestrians will receive a WALK signal to cross Connecticut Avenue. A total of 31 seconds has been allocated for the walk phase after which the signal will revert to the flashing indications. There will be "No Turn on Solid Red" signs to ensure that pedestrians have a protected phase.

Since this is a new operation, pedestrians and motorists are urged to use caution while approaching and crossing this intersection.

DDOT has been working with the area residents to meet the needs for additional pedestrian safety in this portion of Connecticut Avenue.

Residents in the District can help be DDOT identify pedestrian problem areas by calling the Mayor's Citywide Call Center at (202) 727-1000 to report problem intersections for additional pedestrian safety.

Biddle Gets Lucky

It cannot get much better, can it? Ward 3/4 School Board candidate hit the Janney Jackpot last Saturday night. James Jones of the city Paper tells the rest of the story:

When Sekou Biddle showed up at the auction and raffle for Janney Elementary School in Tenleytown on Saturday night, he wasn’t making a campaign stop. The candidate for the vacant school board seat representing Wards 3 and 4 says he was really just looking to catch up with some friends and contribute to the school fundraiser.

Biddle plopped down $50 for one raffle ticket. “I was thinking I might win a toaster or something,” he says. “I was talking with a friend, when somebody came up to me and said, ‘Hey, they’re calling your name up there,’” says Biddle.

He was declared the winner of the top raffle prize of $5,000. Biddle hadn’t even looked at the ticket.

“I don’t know what to do with the money,” says Biddle, who isn’t exactly getting rich on the campaign trail, seeing as he took unpaid leave from his job to campaign. For a moment, Biddle considered staking all the money on another wager. “The other thought I had was to take it as a sign and dump it all into the campaign,” he said.

After the gamblers rush faded, Biddle decided it was no time to let it ride.

“I think I’m going to give some to help fund the dual-language program at my son’s school [Shepherd Elementary],” he says. “I might cover the expenses for another child.”

He also plans to make a contribution to Janney Elementary, but he doesn’t think it would be wise to give back the entire $5,000. “I would want to stay away from any perception that I am giving money to Janney to get votes from parents,” he says.

Hopefully this is a good omen for Mr. Biddle, who is tops among a terrific slate of candidates to fill the seat vacated when Victor Reinoso was appointed to Mayor Fenty's cabinet.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Pedestrian Survey Released

The results of a DC Department of Transportation study of pedestrian habits and concerns were released today. Among the concerns of Ward 3 respondants were:

-The safety and access traversing Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues (Conn. Ave was listed as the most feared);
-The Friendship Heights Metro Station and Rock Creek Park were listed as among the most difficult destinations to reach.

Perhaps some of the novel approaches to safety for pedestrians currently under examination by DDOT are to be commended!

The study can be found here: http://tooledesign.com/projects/dc/index.html

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More discussion on the Chevy Chase Historic District

As the HCCDC group rounds the fourth turn and into the home stretch of a formal submission to make parts of the original street car development in Chevy Chase a historic district, the meetings and discourse on the subject have increased in intensity.

ANC 3/4G had determined in January to hold a series of public meetings later this Spring, once the draft submission is available for review. ANC3E has been included now because one portion of an original subdivision falls within its boundaries.

As a result, a meeting was held this past weekend with a presentation from HCCDC Chair Jenny Chesky, HPO Lead David Maloney and some opponents making statements and presentations. Most in attendance were either active ANC Commissioners, or stated opponents/proponents of the study.

Noted commentator Ed Cowan, whose residence is outside of the study area, provided this commentary on the Chevy Chase Listserv. Part of the "news" from the meeting was the discussion of a possible referendum, or poll, of affected property owners in the study area, sponsored by the affected ANCs, to determine the degree of popular support. Indeed, the ANCs appear to be split on the issue, and some form of measure of support or opposition will go a long way to determining if the study makes it to the Historic Preservation Office for review.

In response to this news, follow-on follow-on posts suggest that polling could prove to be difficult, as there may be broader issues surrounding the details.

There will be more to this over the coming months.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Media Coverage of the Akridge Protest

There were about 50-75 people at the highly promoted Akridge protest this afternoon. Among the assembled were a few in the community who support the project. Tempers got a little testy, as covered in this Fox 5 report.

EDIT: The Washington Times Tarron Lively filed a report.

Commissioner is nominated to the ABC

According to the City Paper, ANC 3F Commissioner Mital Gandhi has been nominated by the Mayor to the Alcohol Beverage Commission.

Friday, March 02, 2007

ANC Commissioner breaks new ground

ANC 3F Commissioner Jane Soloman was inspired by broader environmental concerns in suggesting that an erroneously built house in Ward 4 be "deconstructed" rather than demolished.

According to the Washington Post, other jurisdictions have encouraged the expense of additional funds in razing structures to encourage the adaptive re-use of materials such as bricks, windows, shingles, fixtures, etc.

While a traditional demolition would take a few days, this procedure would require 3-4 weeks. However, the example set by the city for environmental stewardship is worth the time.