Friday, March 31, 2006

Learning a lesson... the hard way

As a new resident in Eckinton, I take my responsibilities to heart. I want to be a part of the hood, a good neighbor and one who is involved. About two weeks ago, the child next door came over and presented me with a fundraising pamphlet. His school was apparently fundraising for something, even though he wasnt sure for what (should have been a red flag). I decided to purchase some french bread pizzas, even though i am certain that they would have been much cheaper at costco. Hey, you have to help the local kids, right? I gave the 10 yr old a check for $17 , and he said i would be getting my food in a few weeks. I closed the door with a feeling like I was helping out, and being a good neighbor. Perhaps that is the compassionate liberal side of me leaking out, or perhaps I am an idiot.

Fast forward to yesterday. I was perusing my bank account online, as I do each day. I saw a strange check for $117. I opened the scanned copy of the check (what a great service) to see that someone, had added their name to the payee line, and added one hundred (in different handwriting) to the amount line, and obviously added the 1 in the number box. The shocking thing is that someone at a Chevy Chase Bank ACCEPTED this check in that format. Every other banker I have spoken to said that this type of check would never be accepted.

So, now I am going through the process with the bank to fix this. The money isnt a huge amount, but as a new home owner, clipping coupons and drinking PBR instead of Sierra Nevada, 100 bucks is a lot!

I dont believe the kid did this, but it seems that my little friend and perhaps the school have been duped. Or maybe it is just me. It pains me to say this, but this experience has soured me on being generous. I may have to find other ways to be helpful to the community, and our school aged kids.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Crime Stoppers?

From the 5D Listserv:

Below find the arrests made last week.
03/25/06 (2) Two arrests for UCSA 21 Bates Street NW
03/24/06 (1) One arrest for UCSA 11 Q Street NW
03/24/06 (2) Two arrest for UCSA 10 N Street NE
03/24/06 (1) One arrest for UCSA 1400 I Street NW
03/18/06 (1) One arrest for UCSA unit block Q Street NW

Lieutenants lead a team of officers, who patrol the various PSAs.To Call the Lieutenants' Office, Dial 698-0268Patrol Service Area

501Lt. Ronald
Lt. Dean Welch–
Patrol Service Area 502 Lt. Gregory Stroud-
Patrol Service Area 503 Lt. Corinne Hughes-
Patrol Service Area 504 Lt. Judith Anderson-
Patrol Service Area 505 Lt. Anthony Medoro-

Police Website: Map:

Monday, March 27, 2006

Eyesore on Lincoln

I have been wondering for a while what was going on with the apartment complex on Lincoln and T St. After looking for other houses that have sold in the 'hood, I found that the complex of 24, 2 br apts is for sale for $5 million dollars. Our good friends at Remax are listing it this way "

"Price also includes sale of adjacent building - 1903 Lincoln Rd. NE. Total of 24 VACANT 2 B/R APTS ON APPROX 15,500 sq ft of ground. Great for Condo Development or Planned Unit Development(PUD).Located in the heart of RED HOT Eckington.Just bocks to XM Radio"

It seems that everybody wants to get into the act, as Jimmy Durante would say.

Walk through Truxton

Saturday afternoon was a beatuful day. I took the opportunity to walk through Truxton, from my house in Eckington to the Shaw metro. There were lots of people out on the street or hanging out on their stoops. Some walked dogs and others did yardwork. The residents were very friendly and all said hello. That is one of the great things about the beginning of spring; people are happy to see the sun, and get outdoors and share the good weather with passers by. It is great to begin to feel a part of the neighborhood.

U St NE-- This street has been absolutely butchered by department of public works for sewer/water pipe replacement or other improvement. there are huge square patches every two feet from 2nd st to lincoln. Perhaps I will write a note to Mayoral hopeful Vinny Orage and see if it can get fixed.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Murder was the case......

Last night was a busy one in DC around 2:15am. There were a total of 5 shootings, three dead. These homicides occured up in Petworth, Shaw and in Eckington. Police said a man was shot in the 1300 block of First Street, Northeast. Police said that victim was pronounced dead at the scene. This is somewhat concerting as this is only a few blocks from my house. Be safe all.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Still work to be done....

Many of you may have already seen the article in DCNorth on crime statistics for 2005. I feel obliged to include them here.

Shaw-Howard Metro Shooting

A 35-year-old man shot to death Friday night in front of the Shaw-Howard University Metro station used to live in the area and may have been known by his attackers, police said yesterday. Police were seeking at least two suspects, one of whom had a handgun.

A gang calling itself the 8th and R Crew had long been harassing and robbing people going in and out of the station. Police, who confirmed there has been gang activity in the area, canvassed the area yesterday but found little. "It's not a police-friendly neighborhood. It's really not."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Rare Support for Kansas Senator.

Below is an article from the Washington Times that mentions Sen. Brownback (R-KS) who supports a plan to implement a "test" of the flat tax concept in DC. We can become the "Hong Kong" of the US, according to him. While the Mayor and Del. Holmes-Norton oppose this plan, i have a slightly different take. I fully support a flat tax for the District of Columbia. Providing that it is zero percent across the board.

If the congresspeople and senators continue to deny district residents voting rights, we shouldn't pay any federal taxes. Perhaps all of the efforts we have made in the past about Taxation without Representation has been focused on the wrong side. It is unlikely that DC will get voting rights especially when republicans currently run all three branches of government. this will be a political football for some time. A better solution is to reduce the tax burden on district residents by recinding federal taxes. Imagine how much growth, opportunity for low, mid and high income brackets there would be.

I may just send Senator Brownback and Del Norton a letter that states the same. How about all of you?

Kansas senator proposes flat tax
Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, has proposed using the District as a "laboratory" to test how a flat federal income tax would affect its residents and economy. Mr. Brownback said the District is perfect for the experiment because it is not a state. "Here you have a federal enclave, as much as maybe people in the District don't like that terminology," he said. "Doing it in the District would give a real-world venue where we could witness what it could do for the country." The proposed system would tax District residents at a flat rate, instead of taxing them under the existing system that includes such factors as income and family size. Mr. Brownback said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing yesterday that residents could participate either in the flat-tax system or the existing one.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat and the District's nonvoting member of Congress, does not support the proposal. She also moved quickly to clarify that a flat tax that she proposed in 1997 was not like the one Mr. Brownback is proposing. Mrs. Norton said she and D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a Democrat, strongly object to an attempt to impose a flat tax on the District. She also said such a plan puts an unfair burden on low-income residents because it removes many of their exemptions. Sources said congressional lawmakers most likely would reject the proposal. This is not the firsttime that the federal government has used the District to test projects. In 2004, Congress approved an education package that established an experimental school-voucher program in the District worth $40 million annually until 2009. President Bush supported the proposal and signed it into law.

Supporters of Mr. Brownback's proposal said it would bring businesses and middle-income families into the District because the rate could be as low as 15 percent, instead of the graduated rates used elsewhere. "D.C. would be the Hong Kong of America," said Daniel Mitchell, a political economist with the Heritage Foundation. "Income and wealth would go up so much that there would be a huge influx of tax revenue for the city. It would be a mecca." The Williams administration said imposing the plan only on the District would be unfair. "The theory of the flat tax is a lot more appealing then the reality," said Vincent Morris, an administration spokesman. "We would have serious concerns that a flat tax...would be neither fair nor progressive." "If D.C. feels bad about being a laboratory in the federal district sense of it, then I would offer to pair them with [my home state of] Kansas," Mr. Brownback said.

Paul Strauss, the District's nonvoting shadow senator, said the District is the only place in the United States that such a test would be constitutional because, under the 16th Amendment, states cannot be taxed unequally by the federal government. "I don't think you can constitutionally tax Kansas differently at the federal level than D.C.," he said. Mr. Strauss said the District is not considered a state and has no voting rights in Congress, so federal lawmakers can force residents "to make them sandwiches if it's deemed to be in the federal interest. ...And I think that's probably why the lack of D.C. statehood makes us the only guinea pig for this experiment."

Public Works Update.

Residential Street Sweeping Resumes Monday, March 20

Motorists can receive a $30 fine if parked in a street-sweeping zone. Following the annual winter hiatus, mechanical streetcleaning resumes in the District's most heavily trafficked neighborhoods on Monday, March 20, 2006, the first day of spring.

Alternate-side parking restrictions in these areas will also return. Parking citations ($30 fine)will be issued to vehicles parked during street sweeping hours in areas posted with "No Parking/Street Cleaning" signs. Additionally, parked cars may be towed to allow the sweepers access to the curbside. Weekly street cleaning routes are typically located in the city's high-density neighborhoods, especially areas with significant foot traffic. Street sweeping reduces debris that would otherwise be carried by rain and run-off into the city's storm drains, polluting the District's rivers.

Bulk Trash Now Collected Only From the Front of Residential Properties

Sometimes residents need to dispose of appliances, furniture, mattresses and other items that are just too big to fit into regular trash trucks. The Department of Public Works (DPW) collects these bulky items - by appointment - from households that also receive DPW trash collection service. In the past, bulk trash could be set out at the same point of collection used for the resident's regular trash, alley or curbside. Beginning this week, however, residents requesting bulk trash collection are being directed to put out bulk items only at curb side infront of their property.

The change is, in part, a response to complaints that the large trucks used to pick up bulk items are too big or too ungainly to fit through alleys and can sometimes damage residents' property. To arrange for a bulk collection appointment, call the Citywide Call Center at (202) 727-1000. After taking your information, the Call Center Service Representative will give you a collection date and a confirmation number. Up to seven items may be collected at a time.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

As I type this post, there is no telling where it will end up. Please bear with me. It seems that people are getting more and more introverted and non-personal due to technology. Back in the old days when we were growing up, you saw your friends at school, and rode bikes or played after school. There weren't cell phones yet, so people coordinated plans, and made significant efforts to be where they were supposed to be, on time.

Meetings meant a room full of people who were discussing agenda items, and making decisions face to face. Discussions would ensue, and you could read the person through their body language, their gesticulations, and whether their face was turning red. Now we have conference calls where dozens of people listen in, with their speaker phone on mute, reading gossip columns or doing email with barely one ear listening to the conversation. Communications within the office have degraded as well. People are less and less likely to actually walk 3 cubicles down to speak with a colleague, but will insist on sending a 2 sentence email. Most people shudder at the thought of picking up a phone and either cold calling someone about an issue that needs to be resolved. What is the anxiety about connecting with someone in person? Have the public and private sector bureaucrats created a phobia against vox humana?

To go further down the chain of communications, we use instant messenger, and text people on our cell phones. Maybe it is novel and fast, but can you hear or see the sarcasm in my voice when I say " that is a great looking dress"? People walk around with earbuds in their ears on the metro, walking down the street, and on busses. This ensures that people wont have to be approached by the diverse and interesting people of this town. It means you don't have to say hello to the nice man sweeping in front of the World Bank, or the homeless person on the corner. It also means that the beautiful red haired girl on the 80 bus you have been gawking at for the last month doesn't have a chance of getting your attention either. That's ok though. Because you can go to craigslist missed connections 35 times a day between IMs and see if see saw you.

People are closing themselves off. We all understand that meeting people is difficult. Meeting someone special is even harder, and unlikely to happen at a bar. But how can people find a chemistry in the online Walmart of dating that is or yahoo personals? People shop for a mate like they are looking for a duvet cover. Every flaw is magnified, the list of needs and wants are in stone. There is no compromise. "he looks like a great guy, but his favorite band is Rush." "that just wont work". We just seem to want everything to be automatic, exactly what we want, gift-wrapped and sent to our door Amazon style in 2-3 business days without any interaction, a single word spoken, and it must be perfect.Even though I am guilty of most of the things in this rant, they really piss me off. Pull the EFFING ipod out of your pocket, and actually get involved with life. Talk to people. That is all.

Basement Renovations

I would love to finish my basement. Even though the ceilings are a bit low, adding more living space would be a great addition to my new Eckington home. Has anyone taken the plunge and completed the project? How pricey was it? Was it worth the investment?

Update on Street Sweeping

Daytime Residential Street Sweeping Will Be Suspended January 9 Through March 17, 2006

Street Cleaning Along Major Arterials Continues All Winter

(Washington, DC) As it does every winter, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will temporarily suspend routine residential street cleaning from January 9 to March 17, 2006. During this time, “No Parking/Street Cleaning” restrictions will be lifted. Residents and visitors who park along posted, alternate-side, daytime street sweeping routes will not be required to move their cars on street-sweeping days during the sweeper hiatus.

Residential street cleaning resumes Monday, March 20, 2006.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Update on Accident on NJ ave.

Drag Racing Causes Crash

A husband and wife were seriously injured yesterday morning in a car crash thatpolice blamed on two drag racers.Police said the accident occurred about 6 a.m. as two men were racing Chevroletsnorth on New Jersey Avenue in Northwest Washington. The cars ran a red light at P Street NW, and one struck a Ford 500 SE that was in the intersection, policesaid. Carl and Shirley Hunter of the 100 block of P Street NW were in the Ford. CarlHunter, 58, was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he was in criticalcondition last night. His wife, also 58, was taken to Washington HospitalCenter. She was in serious condition.

Police charged Jamaal Andre Richardson, 20, of Upper Marlboro, the driver of thecar that hit the Hunters' Ford, with aggravated assault. The driver of the otherChevrolet, identified as Kenneth E. Willis, 26, of Southeast Washington, wascharged with reckless driving, police said.

***From Katrina Hunter

Thank you Jennifer and everyone for your thoughts and prayers during these trying times. There is some encouraging news to tell you all, my father's vitalsigns for the second time has improved a little, his blood pressure is not aslow as it was before so, that tell you that God is still in control of thingshere on this bitter earth. Continue to pray to God for my parents Carl and Shirley Ann Hunter's speedy recovery.

Street Cleaning Enforcement to Begin Again

Mark your calendar Effective Wednesday, March 15, 2006, parking
enforcement for street cleaning will resume. Cars must be moved to the proper side of the street following street cleaning singage. Ticketing will be enforced.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Accident this AM

There appeared to be a major accident on New Jersey Ave this morning between R and M St NW. The road was blocked for 4-5 blocks by MPD. A cab was spun around sideways in the middle of the road, and it appeared that the gas tank had exploded. there was black on the hind quarter of the vehicle. I didnt see the other car in the accident. Does anyone else have any details?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Cars and Prostitution.

The D.C. Council is considering legislation that would allow police to impound vehicles that they think have been used in prostitution. In addition, the council is mulling a bill that would criminalize the act of prostitution and allow the police chief to declare "prostitution-free zones."
Currently, only solicitation for prostitution is a criminal act in the District. So, for those of you in the greater truxton circle area, this may be another tool to stop crackho's in the hood.