Thursday, December 29, 2011

#UncleLee's Part IV...the saga continues #deanwooddc #ward7

Yes, it's me again. Back with another riveting edition of "Deanwood Plays Hardball with Liquor Stores."

You'll remember from previous episodes community members fought valiantly to STOP Uncle Lee's from getting a class A liquor license. The store would be the twelfth liquor store in the greater Deanwood neighborhood (Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7C). While that effort was not successful, we did get rid of the illegal vendor. We've also gotten much needed police and government attention at the Eastern-Sheriff-Division intersection. Since April, Commissioner Sylvia C. Brown, Commissioner for the area in which Uncle Lee's is located, has established relationships with the Prince George's County Police Department District III and with Maryland State Senator Joanne Benson (D-24) who represents the area across from Uncle Lee's. Brown has become a regular at the police's monthly Coffee Chats at Wegman's and Senator Benson's monthly Greater 202 Coalition breakfast.

The backdrop to the community's hardball civic activism was the District's fiscal year 2012 gap closing. One of the proposals to close the gap was a one percent increase on alcohol taxes, up to 10%. The trade-off was liquor stores could stay open until 12 midnight. In light of the extended hours and community members' vocal and persistent opposition to the liquor store, conventional wisdom would take that Uncle Lee's owner(s) would be on it's p's and q's--working with the police and the community to report and stop negative behavior, such as litter, loitering, and public drinking. The store, however, has not been very...let's say forward-thinking.

In late November, the store owner representative, contacted Commissioner Brown offering "to make peace" because of intentions to file the Application for Minor Modification with the Board of Zoning; the store is requesting to extend its business hours to 12 midnight. According to the application, Uncle Lee's is now "very clean and safe."

Au contraire, mon frere...

Beer cans, containers, and broken railing
Leftover hard liquor singles
According to MPD's Calls for Service Report there are over 50 calls for service to the store's address and that's starting the count from April 2011. Additionally, I wouldn't say these pictures give credence to the clean claims.
The Board of Zoning Adjustment is scheduled to hear the extended hours application on January 10, 2012. Fortunately, the 7C Commission voted to oppose the modification application. Community members will be represented in full force at this hearing. If you'd like to weigh-in opposing extended hours for Uncle Lee's email Board Secretary Clifford Moy or call him at (202) 727-0348.

Contact the Commission at 202-398-5100 or by email to confirm the hearing. All Hands on Deck to improve and promote our quality of life.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Fireside is blazing briiiiiggght, 
We're caroling through the night...


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Metro seeks input on W4 Route
Riders are encouraged to attend one of the following public meetings to provide your input on the services that are being evaluated:
  • Thursday, December 8: 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Contee AME Zion Church, 903 Division Avenue NE.
  • Tuesday, December 13: 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Petey Greene Center, 2907 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE.
The meetings will take place in an “open house” format where participants can stop by any time between the beginning and end of the meeting to offer their input. 

If you cannot attend the sessions you can provide your input and feedback through WMATA's online survey.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Elections: Civic Duty or Burden #dcision12 #dcgov

This article is a reproduction of a post from VistaPrint.  While it is targeted to small businesses, it is just as applicable to Joe Q. Public in DCision2012.
Why You (the Entrepreneur) Should Pay Attention to Local Politics

Even though this year is considered an “off-year election,” the United States general elections for 2011 will be held on Tuesday, November 8. No matter your party affiliation or level of political knowledge, it’s important to take notice of what issues are being brought up and who is stepping up in terms of leaders. If you created a micro business in the past year, you’ll want to voice your opinions and select political leaders who align best with your business views.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to vote next month:
·         Decide what you are looking for in a candidate – Now that you a micro business owner, it’s important to look at a candidate as someone who can help improve your community (school’s, social services, etc.) as well as be small business friendly. While no one candidate will be in line with your entire agenda, it’s important to prioritize which candidate values are important to you and vote accordingly.

·         Find out about the candidates – Are the politicians running new to the scene, or have they been around for awhile? Do some research and find out what their strengths (and weaknesses) are. In particular you’ll want to research their involvement with small business in your community. While it’s great to chat with other small and micro businesses about candidates, keep in mind their mind may already be made up based on past party affiliations and other factors. Cast a wide net when speaking with other businesses so you can get an accurate read on political candidates.

·         Attend debates and other events – These gatherings can be a great chance to listen to candidates speak and if offered, ask your own question. Be sure you are familiar with all parties going into the event and have a well-thought question ready to go in case the chance arises. In addition these events can also double as a good chance to help build your brand presence within the community, but should not be the focus of your attendance.

Once you have selected a candidate you feel best represents your interest, you may want to share your support publicly via your business venture. This can be valuable to help drive awareness for your candidate, but it’s important to remember your customers who may not share your opinion. While political affiliation should not affect purchasing behaviors, sadly it still happens. Use your best judgement when deciding to share your choice (Reminder: Voting is your right, and sharing your vote is not required.)

Have you found yourself paying more attention to local (and national) elections since you became an entrepreneur? What do you think is important to know about your politicians? Let us know how you prepare for election season in terms of your micro business.

Monday, December 5, 2011

WMATA Begins North-South EOTR Bus Line Study

Metro seeks input on W4 Route Service

Join neighbors and WMATA at the community forum on December 8, 2011, 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Contee AME Zion Church, 903 Division Avenue NE. The W4 route (Deanwood-Alabama Avenue) is the only north-south, one-seat ride connecting Ward 7 and Ward 8. 

In early spring neighbor Veronica Davis convened an east of the river transportation summit.  At the summit, WMATA bus planner James Hamre shared the agency was considering changes to the W4 line that included,

  • Improve frequency of weekday off-peak service from 33 minutes to 22 minutes
  • Improve Saturday frequency of service from 31 minutes to 25 minutes
  • Reduce crowding and waiting time
  • Annual operating cost=$0.5 million
  • No fleet change

WMATA wants to hear from stakeholders, like you, about these proposed enhancements.  Are they spot-on?  Does the agency need to go back to the drawing board?  Does the agency need to add more enhancements?  Some of the changes I'd like to see include moving from a schedule to a headway, putting fare boxes at stores (e.g., 7-11, Uncle Lee's or Jock's), and requiring Wal-Mart/A&R Development to pay for improvements.

Bring your kudos, criticisms, needs, and wants for better transit service for Deanwood and East of the River.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The calendar seems to speed up after Halloween. That rush should guide us to take time to cherish, think about, and give thanks. It's a word of advice I am taking to heart.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Whataya want from me?

That's not just the title for American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert's debut hit.  It's also a question many candidates will be asking DC residents over the next five and a half months. 

In Ward 7, a few groups have formed to lay out criteria and hear from candidates (and yes the incumbent is a candidate).  The Ward 7 Concerned Citizens Coalition has distributed its criteria and expectations.  We'll see how the people and the candidates respond.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thank Heaven for 7-11

Back in 2009 the 7-Eleven corporation announced its plans for "aggressive expansion."  "Among 7-Eleven’s growth markets are: New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Washington, D.C.; Tidewater, Va.; and Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Myers, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Alberta and British Columbia, Canada."

ANC7D-01 Commissioner Lisa White sent the following email about today's Ward 7 opening.  The store is opening in the former PreventionWorks office and is Ward 7's second 7-Eleven.  The other is located at 950 Eastern Ave. NE.

On Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 8:21 AM, L White wrote:
The 7-Eleven at 2501 Benning Road is scheduled to open on Monday, October 31, 2011 @ 6:00am.

The Opening Celebration will take place on Thursday, November 3, 2011 from 10:00am-2:00pm; there will be Free Food Samples, 11cent Slurpees and Big Gulps, Prizes and Raffles. Also live entertainment with DJ Elon “Double E” and Apple Dumplin the Clown!

The Store Manager and District Manager of this 7-Eleven has committed to being Good Neighbors to the Kingman Park Community!
Have a great weekend,
Lisa White, ANC7D01

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


You may have heard about or seen the "renovations" at Uncle Lee's.  The store was granted its class A liquor license.  This means we have three liquor stores added to the Eastern-Sheriff-Division (ESD) landscape and our 13th in the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7C community.

This is, needless to say, disappointing.  I will not sugarcoat with platitudes or blame.  We can always say they shoulda, we coulda.  It's more important now, I believe, that we have our moment. 

While you're having your moment, though, think back on our broader goals--building relationships and moving toward an improved quality of life.  We CAN put some achievement notches on our belt.

1) illegal shoe vendor was forced to register his business
2) there is no vending at all on the lot (THE BLOCK IS HOT, YALL!)
3) MPD 6D has daily patrols in ESD and parks on the 1100 Eastern Ave lot
4) community members know they are not alone; there are many who want better because we deserve better
5) there is increased attention from the Prince George's County Police Department
6) cleaned up the U4 bus stop
7) think of your three or four other successes.  (feel free to share!)

Thurs., November 3, 9:30 a.m. at County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Dr., Rm. 2190, Upper Marlboro" style="margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;">Jock's Zoning hearing Fact Sheet

A. Become a person of record by contacting Tom Lockard or 301-952-3530.
B. Testify (or send letter of opposition) at the Jock’s Zoning Hearing, Thursday,November 3, 9:00 a.m. at 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Rm. 2190 Upper Marlboro, MD
  1. adversely affect the health,safety or welfare of residents or workers in the area
  2. harmful to the use ordevelopment of adjacent properties or the general neighborhood
  3. substantially impair the integrity of any validly approved Master Plan or Functional Master Plan, or,the General Plan
2) Increase 311 and 911 calls for service
As we learned at the April alcohol hearing, government doesn't "see."  Government "hears."  Government hears data, i.e., calls for service. 
Car driven by illegal sign posters
  1. loitering is illegal in Maryland.  call 911 to report loiterers at Jock's, 1005 Eastern Avenue, Capitol Heights, MD
  2. loitering isn't illegal in DC.  call 911 to report open container violations.  MPD has found that patdowns have resulted in drug and outstanding warrants arrests.
  3. illegal sign posting is out of control along Eastern Avenue and most certainly in the ESD intersection.  call 311 (DC's service) to report the DC postings, RECORD THE SERVICE REQUEST #, follow up in 10 business days.
  4. Maryland is cracking down on illegal sign posters AND the companies.  Take a cell picture, email it, and email the location to the Department of Environmental Resources (email the location even if there's no picture).
  5. Be on the look out for a blue VW hatchback driven by two Latino males, 5'6-5'8, 22-27 y.o. parking at 7-11 or Uncle Lee's.  One wears all black, slight build, and usually drives.  The other has stocky build and wears a baseball cap.  I've spoken to them so they know they are being watched.  When you see them call 911 and report for defacing property.
3) What's on YOUR mind?  What should be next?


Sylvia C. Brown
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 7C04
O: 202-398-5100
C: 202-841-4117 


Friday, October 28, 2011

Time keeps on ticking...

We've seen political signs swirling around already--campaign signs, activity on Twitter, interviews, candidate declarations.  However, the real season starts in less than three weeks when petitions hit the street.  Monday, November 14 candidates may pick up petitions for the Ward races from the DC Board of Election.  This marks 144 days before the election. 
Please be kind & sign.  However, don't be pressured.  We live in a democracy true enough.  Let's not, though, clog up our electoral process with tomfoolery.  (I think we know who the always-runs are.)

To help us civic activists keep track of key dates in DCision 2012 here's a handy list of the electoral calendar BOEE DeadlinesDISCLAIMER: This document has not been authorized by the DC Board of Elections and Ethics, candidate, or candidate's committee. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


From Commissioner Brown:

An update on the public space violation at 4908 Jay Street NE as provided by DC Dept. of Transportation. 

I understand there is a fine line government aides have to walk--give the resident too much detail and overburden with information or just do the work and get the results to the resident.   I've been there.   There is a level of trust, though, inherent in government operations.   I, generally, trust my government.  However, periodic communication doesn't hurt.  In fact it's a critical piece in relationship building.  Periodic communication also helps the staff not get thrown under the bus.

On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM, Lisle, John (DDOT) wrote:
Commissioner Brown,
I know it hasn’t looked like it, but our inspectors report they have been working on this issue for several weeks now, writing citations and communicating with the seller of the property and the utility companies who apparently did the work. That effort is still underway – and as you know has not yielded the desired result - so today the inspectors solicited the help of Street and Bridge Maintenance to temporarily repair the roadway and make it safe.

Attached are photos of the work performed at the site today.

Thank you for your perseverance and your patience.

BEFORE 4908 Jay St NE

DDOT Street & Bridge Maintenance mitigating
4908 Jay St. NE public space violation

ERFSC Community Meeting October 26, 2011


Ward 7 Workforce Trends
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Marshall Heights Community Development Organization
3939 Benning Road NE
Minnesota Avenue Metro | U2/U5/U6/U8/V7/V8
Ward 8 Workforce Council | Operation Hope |
US Department of Labor
For more information, contact Chynna Haughton or 202-397-7300, ext. 116

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We've emailed, tweeted, reported to 311 and the Office of Neighborhood Engagement, cajoled, and prodded.  What's happened?  NOTHING!!  The public space violation at 4908 Jay Street NE is STILL there & has now attracted illegal dumping.  What does it take to get this cleaned up after nearly two months??? 

A stop work order issued on September 12 by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).  Instead of trusting that the DCRA inspector would inform the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the District Department of the Environment, there should be a check-off/prompt automatically within the stop work order process to initiate fines and a removal period.  It is inefficient and redundant to require residents to hope there was verbal communication within the agencies or to generate a complaint. 

City unresponsiveness breeds cynicism in and distrust of government in residents.  City unresponsiveness breeds boldness in construction companies, litterers, and others to blatantly disrespect Deanwood and the city.  I'm sick of it! 

4908 Jay St. NE


Monday, October 24, 2011

JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Money, Money, Monaaay!!

Any issues or questions, please call 202-698-4781.
Department of Employment Services
4058 Minnesota Ave. NE Community Room | Minnesota Avenue Metro, A31/U2/U5/U6/U8/V7/V8/X1/X2/X3/X9

Shift Supervisor | Assistant Store Manager | Store Manager Positions Available
Step 1 - Apply On-Line:

Step 2:  Register and select EVENT TYPE “RITE AID”.

Shift Supervisor​ Positions Available
Step 1: Apply On-Line:
Step 2:  Register and select EVENT TYPE “CVS”.

Crew | Kitchen Prep | Apprentice | General Manager Positions Available
Step 1: Register and select EVENT TYPE “Z Burger”.
Step 2: You’ll be contacted via email with your appointment time slot.

Courtesy Clerk |Seafood Clerk | Bakery Clerk | Night Stocker | Service Clerk/Deli | Floral Clerk | Food Clerk/Checker
Step 2: Register: and select EVENT TYPE “SAFEWAY”.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vision and placemaking...

Friend and fellow East of the River blogger Nikki Peele made an astute obeservation a few days ago--women in the community are leading (and blogging) the transformation of DC's neighborhoods.  Think about it, there are JD Land, Life in the Village, Congress Heights on the Rise, and The Brightwoodian to name a few.  Yet as I discovered thanks to a Real Estate Bisnow post "The Key to Cities" men are at the table "making" the plans.  According to the featured post, economic development planning should be about women and, incidentally, that woman-centered vision is about placemaking and smart growth

A leading voice on placemaking Project for Public Spaces describes the concept as breaking "through [institutionalization] by showing [developers] planners, designers, and engineers how to move beyond their habit of looking at communities through the narrow lens of single-minded goals or rigid professional disciplines."

This finding is shockingly clear in the development landscape in Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7C (and north Ward 7).  In testimony about extending the disposition agreements on three critical north Ward 7 parcels 7C04 Commissioner Sylvia C. Brown asked about the development teams' visions and efforts "to create a sense of place—enlivening streetscapes, engaging current community members, and getting future residents excited about the developments' and surrounding communities' potential."  The question was discounted.  (With only one woman among the development team members is there a correlation???) 

New buildings don't magically make blight disappear.  New buildings don't magically reduce crime.  New buildings don't magically produce an improved quality of life. Vision does

PROACTIVE vision does.

Proactive, progressive vision with a real commitment to the broader community's bottom line does.

DC Council Ward 7 Land Disposition Hearing... Commissioner Brown's testimony starts at 4:25.  The exchange with Chairman Brown is at 11:37.

Friday, April 22, 2011



On Wednesday, April 13 the protest hearing against the Class A Liquor License application of Uncle Lee's Seafood was held. It was an empowering and enlightening experience.

A brief recap:

- It was a bit of a rough start because Commissioner Sylvia Brown was late and the proceedings are conducted as a court case with opening statements, exhibits, etc.

- Ronnie Streff, Vice President, Capitol View Civic Association, and Commissioner Brown were dinged because they tagged teamed; Commissioner Brown ended being the primary questioner with Streff as second chair

- Commissioner Brown's line of questioning bringing up the application's discrepancies of ownership and running another business brought in reasonable doubt of the applicant's ability to follow the Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration's peace, order, and quiet standards for the Alcohol Control Board

- The board chair reprimanded the applicant's attorney two-three times to the point of questioning whether he was an attorney and nearly dismissing the case; the attorney was answering questions for his client instead of allowing the client to speak for herself. Thankfully, Commissioner Brown's request for an impartial third party translator was granted otherwise there could've been shenanigans.

- The applicant called up a supportive "customer." Questioning revealed the customer actually worked for the applicant getting paid in food and drink

- The applicant presented a petition of supporters as an exhibit. The protestants objected because the petition didn't say it was for a liquor store, several signors were not from the immediate area, and several signors used, shall we say, aliases.

- The alcohol board has 90 days to issue its decision.



The Honorable Jim Graham
District of Columbia Council on Human Services
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 117
Washington, DC 20004
P: 202-724-8181

The Honorable Yvette M. Alexander
Ward 7 Councilmember
Member, Committee on Human Services
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20004
P: 202-724-8068

2) Mark the 3rd Wed., 6:30p (sharp), Kelly Miller Middle School, 301 49th St. NE on your calendars for the monthly Patrol Service Area 602 meeting.
  • Wed., April 20
  • Wed., May 18
  • Wed., June 15
  • Wed., July 20
  • Wed., Aug. 17
  • Wed., Sept. 21
  • Wed., Oct. 19
  • Wed., Nov. 16
  • Wed., Dec. 21
3) The Far NE Livability Study recommendations will be revealed, Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m.  Show up & support the District Department of Transportation's budgeting the dollars to plan and reconstruct Sheriff Rd.

4) We need at least three people to join the economic development strategy team to implement the Deanwood Small Area Plan--Sheriff-Eastern node.

5) Other neighbors want to replicate what we did and strategize on future liquor license renewals. There'll be a planning meeting in early-mid June. To join the liquor license strategy team, please email me directly


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Deanwood Recreation & Library Center...9 months later

Last week, Councilmember Muriel Bowser, Chairman Committee on Libraries, Parks, and Recreation, toured the nine-month old Deanwood Recreation Center and Library.  Bowser, who is also Ward 4 Councilmember, was taking the opportunity to talk with community members and frontline staff to gain perspective on upcoming budget and planning hearings.

Public Oversight Roundtable: Summer Programs and Aquatics Readiness of the Department of Parks and Recreation
Monday, April 11, 11:00 a.m.
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Room 123
(Federal Triangle Metro)

The roundtable will inquire into the Department of Parks and Recreation’s preparations for the efficient administration of the agency’s summer programs, including arrangements to commence operation of all 31 outdoor aquatics amenities. As soon as District schools adjourn for summer, the utilization rates of our DPR facilities greatly increase. As safe, productive environments for District children, it is vital that we ensure DPR is ready to provide first-class recreation activities at first-class recreation facilities during this time. To that end, the roundtable will inquire into the agency’s efforts to hire sufficient staff, especially lifeguards; to prepare physical facilities like pools, spray parks, fields, and tennis courts; the mowing schedule; agency plans for engaging with stakeholders; and a description of all summer programs and camps for
youth, adults, and our seniors. The Committee will also review pending capital projects, Unity Park, summer hiring and other DPR vacancies.

THURSDAY, April 14, 10a - Budget hearing for DPR, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, COUNCIL CHAMBER (ROOM 500)

MONDAY, April 18, 10a - Budget hearing for DCPL, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, ROOM 412

Deanwood Recreation and Library Center's Opening Day June 2010 was a celebration (and joyous madhouse)!
Deanwood computer lab on grand opening day, June 2010
L-R: Bowser, DCPL Chief Ginnie Cooper, Deanwood resident Beverly Goode, and Deanwood Branch manager Winnell Montague

Bowser's tour coincided with the Deanwood Library's reading time.

CM Bowser listening intently to concerns raised by Deanwood neighbors Yvonne Johnson and David Smith.  Recreation Center Manager Orvin Wright joins the tour.
CM Bowser (c) with Deanwood Neighbors and DCPL Chief and Staff and DPR Manager