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.