Thursday, November 8, 2007


Before I head off to the taxi meter round-table I'm summarizing last night's riveting ANC meeting.

Chairman Reed was really testy almost to the point of hilarity. Almost. It is, after all, an ANC meeting. He told Helen Kramer to wrap up her Crime and Public Safety Committee presentation "before my clothes go out of style." In a no nonsense move he led the charge to have the Attorney General and the Inspector General's offices investigate the property of one Logan homeowner. Reed also confronted Izalco Restaurant about its past noise problems.

In all of the excitement, Mike Bernardo looked apoplectic and Chris Dyer buried his head in his hands. I can't really blame the other commissioners for texting, typing, and BlackBerrying.

Prostitution, of course, was a big issue in both Lt. Smith and Helen Kramer's reports. Now that we've all seen the blogs and the evening news casts, this is the issue of the moment. though Lt. Smith complained of not having enough resources to consistently attack the problem, the police prostitution squad will be assigned to our area, most likely temporarily. If you haven't yet observed it for yourself, the Mr. Wash alley, the alley between 12th and 13th Streets behind O, and Blagden Alley are problem areas. The BP station on 13th is also a drug transaction center. One of the night staff has brilliantly been allowing a crackhead to sleep on the property, and there isn't much that the cops can do if she's granting permission to this guy. In not surprising news, the 1400 block of R remains a prime spot for drug activity and stolen cars.

If you're concerned about the recent robberies (14 last month as compared to five for the same period last year), Logan Hardware is selling pepper spray for five dollars.

Mr. 14th & You remarked after the meeting that the reports of the police department and the Crime and Public Safety Committee seem redundant. I hadn't really thought about it, but he has a point.

Reed's crusade, the nuisance property: If you live near 1402 12th Street, and you've had problems with the owner or tenants, you should contact Reed and/or SMD 2F-04 commissioner Jennifer Trock. Both have heard previous resident complaints and support sicking the AG and IG on the owners. At issue are alleged late-night parties, improper homestead exemption, renting the property without a certificate of occupancy, and possible sale of alcohol.

Dyer had an interesting point on the matter. He does not consider the ANC to be a fact-finding body. He also does not consider the ANC contacting the AG and IG to be good use of resources. He does, however, support individual citizens contacting city offices to pursue the matter. I found his opinion to be well reasoned. However, his statements led to a rapidly devolving legal argument between him and Reed.

DDOT matters are about the same as always. The 14th Street Streetscape report from the last public meeting should post to the website this week, and the next meeting is scheduled for January. The 15th Street proposal for two-way traffic and bike lanes is still on the table. Due to funding issues though, it won't really be explored until 2009. The Q Street work is about one month from completion, and Church Street will most likely be repaved once the condo developers all pony up money for the work. The long awaited 11th Street repaving should start in May or June.

Debate about the 14th and P bus stop rages on. A Metropole condo resident would like to see the P Street bus stop in front of his building (NW corner) moved east across 14th Street to the side of the Studio Theater building. Chairman Reed believes that a pull-out area will keep buses from stopping up traffic in the narrow single lane there. I, on the other hand, can see the bus not using the pull-out (do they ever?) and backing up traffic into the circle. The stated major issue for the rabble rouser in the condo building is that at times there are buses stopped on both the north and south side of P causing traffic blockages, particularly during the weekend double parking spree . . . .

"Th-th-th-that's all folks!"

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