MVSNA Meeting Notes – 2008-02-19
MVSNA officers: Cary Silverman (President), Si Kailian (1st Vice President), Horton Beebe-Center (2nd Vice President), Nicole Manara (Corresponding Secretary), Rob Amos (Treasurer), Jefferson Parke (Recording Secretary)
At Large board members: Lee Pellegrino, Thais Austin, Deborah Ziska, Paul Corsi, Adamio Boddie
Reports and Announcements
- We’re holding elections today.
- There were no financial transactions for the past month to report
Public Safety Report
1st District Lt. Gary Durand (PSA 101):
- January stats: robberies 0, down from 4 in January last year. 1 assault, down from 3. Theft from autos is down.
- 52% decrease in crime overall from the same period last year.
- There have been a lot of complaints about the homeless population in the neighborhood, particularly the southern end. The homeless issue is bigger than what the police department can address alone. There are 3 shelters within a few blocks of the neighborhood. They bus people from St. Elizabeth’s during the day because they say they don’t have enough services on the East side.
- Please refrain from personal attacks on he 1D listserve.
- If you send emails to Chief Groomes it will make its way back down to me anyway but it will take longer. Come to me first and give me a chance to solve the problem before going to the top.
- My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Q&A&Comments – Responses provided by Lt. Gary Durand:
- C: We’re always concerned that officers forget to patrol “the chimney”. Please remind them that it exists.
A: 101 is a huge area. Brian Grogan is the Captain of 101 (Brian.Grogan@dc.gov).
Q: The chimney has a lot of drug dealing. What are the police doing about it?
A: It’s a difficult issue for a number of reasons. We have to have probable cause to search suspects. There are a lot of open air drug markets and we want to shut them down instead of simply moving them around the city. I’ll inform the patrol officers.
Q: Can the camera at NJ and Mass be used for police surveillance?
A: Not sure but you can find out at dc.gov by searching for cameras.
Cary Silverman on PSA 308:
- There have been 10 shootings in 308 in February alone.
- 3 were shot and non-critically injured yesterday evening.
- The association is pushing the police to get more officers.
- Lt. Micah Pate announced that there would be 3-4 more officers on the street during the evening shift as of last Sunday.
- Looking forward to working with Lt. Pate and hopefully we’ll have a fresh perspective on how to approach these crime problems.
Update on the O Street Market
- The project is the redevelopment of Giant and the O street market site with a new Giant grocery store, 2 market rate apartment buildings, offices, 80 units of senior housing, other small retail, and a hotel.
- Underground parking for the entire site.
- Affordable housing, jobs and more.
- Went to zoning board with request for public hearing and we were denied a couple times. The issue had to do with the height of the buildings. Thought the real difference with the surrounding buildings was only 2 feet the heights are treated differently depending on what the penthouse is used for – mechanical or residential. The board felt that it would set a bad precedent to allow the full height so we removed the tops of the buildings. To offset the decreased return on investment, underground parking was also removed.
- March 6th is a public zoning hearing where everyone can comment on the plan and hopefully voice their support. Room 200 at 1 Judiciary Square. Testimony cards can be filled out if you want to speak. The project is the only one on the docket that evening.
- March 3rd there will be an event at Vegetate to thank the community for their support. Any questions or objections that the community has can be raised and addressed.
Q&A&Comments – Responses provided by Armond Spikell:
- Q: As a result of the cutback on parking, is there anything we can do to make sure that the parking stays as close as possible to the site..
A: Make sure that we don’t lose more on-site parking. The cost of underground parking and loading for the buildings is really high. To pay for those costs we had to design the project to be fairly large and we had to borrow from DC through tax increment financing (TIF). We don’t want to lose any more of the productive parts of the project because that would lead to more loss in the parking.
Q: When do you start building?
A: October 2009 is the current estimate.
Q: How about providing jobs for the homeless?
A: We’re hoping to hire a lot of people from the neighborhood. As long as they can pass a regular drug test they will be candidates for employment.
Brief Statement from Jack Evans
- There was a terrible shooting at 7th and N streets last night. We have to continue our support of the police department, get more crime cameras installed, etc.
- I support the O Street Market development, as it will help reduce crime in the area and act as a cornerstone of future development.
- Shaw Junior High School will remain in the community and will be rebuilt.
- Progress is being made on Watha T. Daniel library.
DC Coop Children’s Playground – Deedee Slewka
- Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) pre-school program where they hire a teacher and parents must volunteer a few hours a week.
- Costs only $35/week.
- Kids can go for 1-5 days per week.
- All day programs.
- Setting up a new group at Kennedy Recreation Center. The teacher is set to start April 1st but now we need more kids. We need at least 10 students per program.
- If you know of any parents with young children, tell them about this program.
Election of Officers
- Slate of officers nominated at the last meeting:
President: Cary Silverman
1st Vice President: Si Kailian
2nd Vice President: Horton Beebe-Center
Treasurer: Rob Amos
Corresponding Secretary: Nicole Manara
Recording Secretary: Jefferson Parke
At-Large Member: Deborah Ziska
At-Large Member: Lee Pellegrino
At-Large Member: Paul Corsi
At-Large Member: Reverend Adomio Boddie
At-Large Member: Thais Austin
- Thanks to outgoing officers Sam Farmer, Megan Lavin, and Melanie Mfume for their work this past year.
- No new nominations were made.
- Motion to approve the officers and board as presented passed unanimously.
Second Annual Mount Vernon Square Hero Awards
- A way to honor those who have gone above and beyond to make our neighborhood a better place.
- We have an open nomination process and then the officers select several individuals who have demonstrated heroics in their service to the community.
- This year we worked hand in hand with the police to shut down Fun Fair, and illegally operated porn store and crime magnet.
- The first Hero Award goes to District Chief Diane Groomes. We’ve have the pleasure of working with her from Lieutenant, to Command, to Chief. Her level of responsiveness and commitment to community policing does not waver. She takes a problem and solves it.
- Groomes: I’ve been blessed to work with this community. I’ve been able to rely on the bicycle police, working closely with the community to really get things done. Thanks you very much.
- The second Hero Award goes to Officers Chanel Nasser, Mike Jewell, Sherri Forrester, Mike Hoban and Mike McConnell for their hard work and the many arrests made to stop drug dealing and prostitution on the 900 Block of 5th Street and for their support in shutting down the illegal Fun Fair Video operation.
- The third Hero Award goes to Reverend Adamio Boddie, who engaged the community with the reopening of the Third Street Church of God. Over the past year he has planned and organized the first Shaw Community Day and a harvest festival at Halloween time. We’ve had regular and positive meeting with the church and they’ve proven to be a great partner.
- Boddie: In July 2006 I joined the listserve and began working with the community. I got a little criticism and I never thought that Cary (standing next to Boddie and 2+ feet shorter :) would be the one standing up for me and being my protector. Thank you.
Adjournment to Potluck Banquet!