There has been a substantial amount of discussion and questions related to the District’s plan to close DC General and replace it with smaller, community-based shelters for families experiencing homelessness. These shelters are to be safe, secure, attractive, and spread throughout each ward of the District, with one such shelter to be built on part of the land adjacent to the Second District Police Station, 3320 Idaho Avenue, NW. Many of the questions and topics of conversation have overlapped and touch on complicated matters, so I’d like to begin with an overview of the situation. Let me also say that issues like homelessness necessarily come loaded with strong emotions and suggestions that people raising concerns are acting out of self-interest or unsavory motivations. In fact, there are legitimate concerns that are worthy of discussion, and I assume that the questions put to me—questions I will endeavor to speak to here—were put forward in good faith and with the best of intentions. (more…)
“Through the Council’s process, the location of the temporary family shelter in Ward 3 has been changed from 2619-2623 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, a privately-owned site, to a new location at 3320 Idaho Avenue, NW, a District-owned site. The Second District (2D) Police Station is also located at this site. The new location was primarily selected by the Council because it is both located on District-owned land and otherwise satisfies the criteria for the shelters originally put forth by the Mayor. Frequently suggested by residents at community meetings, this site is also close to transportation, a grocery store and a park, and has sufficient space available for the structure. This also happens to be one of the locations that I included in an earlier, publicly disclosed letter to the Executive requesting further analysis and evaluation for the suitability of a shelter. To clarify, building the temporary family homeless shelter on the Idaho Avenue lot will not intrude on the community garden located next to the property and, with the exception of re-configuring the parking lot with stacked parking, is expected to cause little disruption to the operation of the 2D Police Station.”
From the Mayor’s Office this morning:
“In response to the Council’s second vote on a plan to close the DC General Family homeless shelter, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued the following statement:
“Today marks a milestone in our shared commitment to provide homeless families clean, safe, and dignified housing—and a fair shot at a pathway to the middle class. I thank Chairman Phil Mendelson and the Council for approving a plan that will close DC General and further reform how we serve homeless families. I am also grateful to the residents and organizations that advocated tirelessly for the closure of DC General. With the debate now behind us, I look forward to working with neighbors across the District to build replacement facilities that we can all be proud of, and that reflect the best of who we are as a society.”
One resident shares his concerns:
“Friends & Neighbors:
I attended the meeting on the proposed homeless shelter at the police station. While I’ve previously expressed concerns regarding the site selection process, I went into the meeting with a generally open mind regarding the project as a whole. I left with one major conclusion that I will share with this group – they have not thought this thing through. I would describe Laura Zeilinger as someone who appeared to be a competent and well intenioned public servant, but it is clear that the process being managed by our DC government is completely off the rails. They are probably not going to do the necessary planning unless citizens of this community demand it. I think it is incumbent on the people most directly impacted by these plans to provide guidance and insight to achieve the best possible solution for this community and for the homeless people that have been so badly treated for years by our DC government.
Cheh and Mendelson spent more time planning their message – guilt the public into accepting their half baked plan – than actually planning to getting the process right. Don’t fall for it. We all care deeply about the homeless and mourn the tragedy that is DC General. As DC and Federal taxpayers, we already do our fair share to help address homelessness. If DC government want us to do more than our fair share – to accept costs and risks including the risk of the safety of our children – then they need to provide us with both the planning and the resources that are needed to get it right.
A few specific items that I believe need to be further considered are listed below: (more…)
“WHAT: Cathedral Commons is gearing up to close down the Newark Street and welcome Washingtonians for an epic neighborhood experience – Spring Fest at Cathedral Commons curated by Art Soiree. Free and open to public, this spring themed street festival will offer attendees a chance to get a taste of the neighborhood through vibrant art, delicious food offerings and an all day live music & entertainment program.
“Spring in Bloom” themed art installation by Nena Depaz & Charlotte Hager
“Flower Couture” pieces by ManneqART
Delicious food tastings from local restaurants – the grande paella from Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar, dumplings from Raku, & mini burgers from Cafe Deluxe to name a few
Over $3,000 in Free Raffle Giveaways – shopping gift cards to Core72, La Village Marche, gift baskets from Giant and The Cookery, restaurant gift certificates from Barcelona, Cactus Cantina, Cafe Deluxe, Raku, Grilled Oyster Company, work-out memberships & class packages to Pure Barre, [Solidcore], Zengo Cycle, tickets to Washington Ballet’s Bowie & Queen performance, and more.
“Mornings are more productive with a little caffeine, and after April 14, evenings will be more pleasant with the addition of more menu options including wine, craft beer, and small plates at the existing Cathedral Commons Starbucks. The “Evenings” store concepts have debuted throughout the country since 2010, and the Cathedral Commons location will be the very first in the Washington, D.C. region. Consumer eating habits have evolved into a pattern of snacking on small meals throughout the day, which helped influence the small plate assortment in Evenings stores. Starbucks partnered with various wine chefs to identify the perfect complement to the wine and beer selection as well as coffees. The Evenings wine and craft beer assortment is a reflection of the tastes in a variety of regions across the U.S., resulting in a combination of local and regional favorites that will rotate over time.”
“Washington National Cathedral will host a midwinter picnic inside its central nave on Friday, February 5, 2016 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The picnic, which is expected draw hundreds of attendees, will cap the Cathedral’s annual week-long “Seeing Deeper” program that transforms the interior of the nation’s church to give area residents and tourists a fresh view of the building through a series of unique and interactive events. Picnic goers are encouraged to pack a basket, grab their family and friends, and join an exciting evening featuring performances by GW Troubadours, a co-ed acapella group based at The George Washington University.
The picnic is free and open to the public. Alcohol, glass, and metal chairs are prohibited.
WHAT: Picnic in the Cathedral
WHEN: Friday, February 5, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW”
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“Cary Kelly first ventured to Europe in 1979 and was awakened to a lifestyle based on fresh flavors, local and natural ingredients, and simple recipes; all common in European homes. Her souvenir was three bottles of fruity, green Italian olive oil and a hunger for fresh, wholesome foods full of flavor.
Cary has continued to feed that love of fresh wholesome cuisine as she has traveled the world. Her favorite region is the Mediterranean, the heart of olive production. Olive oil, like wine, changes with the soil, temperature and milling of its country of origin and is meant to be experienced to find what most pleases your palate and suits your recipe. Balsamic vinegar, from Modena, Italy, is a rich, sweet and pungent elixir that bursts forth with flavor without adding calories. Authentic balsamic vinegar from Modena is not an easy find; most grocery store offerings are colored with caramel and weak and thin in flavor. It’s possible you’ve never tasted the real thing. You’ll fall in love.
Ah love invites you into a warm Mediterranean country farmhouse environment showcasing flavorful foods made only by small-batch producers. We like to know who is behind our food offerings; to touch the hands that made the food. We seek out small producers who make food bursting with fresh flavor, use natural ingredients, and design their delectables with integrity, honesty and creativity. Come taste!”
They currently have locations in Virginia and Union Market.
This unit is located at 2800 Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest. The listing says:
“Ideally located L-shaped Studio apartment on high floor with fabulous, large windows and monument views! Multiple closets, lots of light, and hardwood floors under carpet. 1 block from bus stop and a quick walk to Whole Foods and the many charming restaurants/shops of both Cleveland Park and Georgetown.”
This rental is located at 3110 Wisconsin Avenue, Northwest. The listing says:
“This condo w/ fireplace & balcony, that extends the length of the living area & bedroom, is in a prime location across from the picturesque National Cathedral. It’s also conveniently located 1.2 miles to Cleveland Park Metro & 2-3 blocks to shopping. If you want a scenic view, visit the roof-top terrace. If storage is needed, there is community storage available. Voucher accepted.”