Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stuff You Oughta Know About

In the past week, there have been quite a few news items that impact our neighborhood. Unfortunately, I’ve been a little slow to aggregate and post them all. Below is a summary of some stories you might want to read for yourselves.

Embassy Tour This Weekend
This coming Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. you may take a self-guided tour of some of the embassies and ambassadors’ residences in Kalorama. This event, the 23rd Annual Kalorama House and Embassy Tour, is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson House. If you would like to participate, tickets are available for $25 in advance. Visit link above or call 202-387-4062 x18 for information.

Convention Center Hotel
The planned 1,400 room convention center hotel at 9th and Mass. may ever materialize. Though the developer RLJ states that they are still interested in the project if further investigation reveals it to be “economically viable,” Council member Jack Evans has already declared the hotel DOA. Steven Pearlstein also seems happy to ring the death knell. However, others such as OffSeventh are voicing their extreme displeasure at the near collapse of the hotel plans.

The September 5th issue of the Dupont Current ran an article about DC’s streetcar plans. Unfortunately, the Current does not make articles available online. The gist is that the Sierra Club has written to Mayor Fenty to express their disappointment at the pace of the streetcar line construction. They characterize the DDOT schedule, which calls for construction in Anacostia to begin next year, as “too little, too late.” (H Street construction is to begin once the Anacostia test case is complete.)

The Sierra Club supported a 2004 proposal calling for 40 to 50 miles of streetcar lines. However, they were disappointed by a 2005 document which they believe sets a much longer timeline for the project. DDOT has a fairly sound response; they say that they have spent the past three years conducting environmental studies, obtaining federal funding, and soliciting construction bids. DDOT also says that streetcars are one of their top priorities right now. Though I do understand the government processes and I do not think that the current timeline is unreasonable, I am hopeful that the Sierra Club’s pressure can help nudge the streetcar construction along a little faster.

No Decision on Cab Meters
The taxicab commission voted yesterday to . . . punt the meter vs. zone issue to Mayor Fenty. Fenty must now act before the October 17 deadline for responding to U.S. Senator Carl Levin’s demand to create an official meter policy. Council Member Jim Graham, in typical style, has pledged his involvement by convening his own task force to review taxi regulations. The Post covers the story here.

Leroy Thorpe
In a September 5th article, reporter Erik Wemple of the CityPaper enlightened Washington Post reporter Omar Fekeiki and editor Carol Morello on Leroy Thorpe. The Post had reported in glowing terms about Thorpe’s Muslim crime fighting group while neglecting to learn about all he has done to divide/harm/antagonize his neighborhood. The Post also skipped a key statistic: the number of violent crimes in the patrolled area over the past two months is equal to the number reported for the same period last year.


Mr. 14th & You said...

You know, I have some thoughts about the taxi meter v. zone thing...but WTF is Carl Levin doing interjecting himself into it? Last time I checked, this was a D.C. issue--not something to be decided upon by the U.S. Senate.

Anonymous said...

About Leroy Thorpe...It seems to me that many of the people that have moved into the Shaw/Logan Circle communities in the past few years have been much more interested in forcing views on the community than being a part of the community. Anyone that doesn't "fit" the lifestyle or appearance of the newcomers are seen as insignificant relics of the past that need to pushed out or marginalized. Say what you will about Mr. Thorpe, he has risked his life for that community and works to make sure that those that come in don't walk all over those that have made that community home before it was fashionable.