Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Walmart Neighborghood Partnership Initiative

  In response to public pressure, city council concerns or whatever the reasons may be, Walmart announced it's Neighborhood Partnership Initiative on their DC Website this morning.  In this announcement, Walmart announced it's intention to not only provide the District with some 1,800 permanent jobs city wide, but also increasing the District's tax revenue by some $15 million while they also "identify and create charitable partnerships during this timeline worth $21 million in critical areas of unmet needs such as hunger relief, health and wellness, education and workforce development." The major construction projects they plan to start will also utilize DC based contractors and distributors for at least 35% of work, implement transportation demand management measures for each new store (Capital Bikeshare, bus shelters, bike racks, Smart Trip, electric car charging stations), as well as "create and fund a city wide workforce development program that provides training services for DC residents, with emphasis on programs that assist low income families, minorities, veterans, at-risk yourh and formerly incarcerated residents."  Along with the proposed workforce development program, Walmart plans to focus even more keenly on creating jobs in the communities surrounding their developments through the use of hiring centers located near each site, as well as job fairs and cooperation with CCDC and Community Groups.  Several of these items address many of the major concerns people have with the Mega Box Store, however they extent to which these are carried out and how much leverage the District has to ensure these happen will not be realized until much of the planned development in near or has been copmpleted,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Unexpected Tenant: Walmart Surprise in Ft. Totten

  The quiet community is an often sought after, seldom attained dynamic in any major city...and the District is no different.  The communities surrounding Ft. Totten have been one of these rare species, and are now facing extinction straight in the face.  The announcement that Wamart is moving ahead with a bold plan to open six locations in the District, one of which will anchor the Ft. Totten Square Development, will certainly usher in a new community dynamic.  The often controversial box store giant's plan will add some 1,600 jobs in the district and create almost 600 construction jobs in the process.  The Ft. Totten location will occupy most of the first floor of the Ft. Totten Square project and sit below some 350 apartments along Riggs Rd, NE. 
  Much of the community seems split regarding the planned development, and this will surely fuel the  fire for both sides.  While the neighborhood will surely be faced with all manner of city planning and public safety issues, this announcement will surely add a turbo booster to the stagnent Ft. Totten Square project and help bloster not only jobs but also increase property values.  Regardless of the stance, this unexpected announcement  looks to be moving ahead...at what speed and where the speed bumps lie are still unknown.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Neighborhood Farm Initiative Open House & Pot Luck

  Ahh fresh foods...one of the many items that seem to help magnify the gap in the District between the "have's" and the "have not's."  The Field to Fork initiative is an organization that is trying to make a difference locally by helping to teach the trade of urban gradening across our fair city through the Neighborhood Farm Initiative.  Perhaps the bet known example of their  success' lies in our own back yard at the Ft. Totten Demonstration Garden located north west of the Ft. Totten Metro station behind the Mamie D. Lee School.
View NFI Ft Totten Demonstration Garden in a larger map
As a means to sread the word on what they are accomplishing in Ft. Totten and help teach newbies the art of farming, the group holds several open houses and events throughout the year.  Coming up in merely a few weeks is NFI's Open House and Pot Luck.  The event will be held at the Ft. Totten Demonstration Garden
Saturday, October 1 · 9:00am - 1:00pm.
The Release from NFI reads:
"Interested in learning how to garden or interested in seeing an urban garden in DC? We’re celebrating the end of our third growing season, in which more than 200 different volunteers have worked over 1,500 volunteer hours, and still counting! Join us in the morning to get your hands dirty and help with various fall clean-up tasks, or join us in the afternoon for a potluck lunch and garden tours. We’ll be showing what we’ve spent the year doing, congratulating our current volunteers, welcoming newbies, and sharing a meal potluck-style, so please bring a dish to share if you can.
Directions to the Fort Totten garden: To get to the garden from the Fort Totten metro station, turn left (north) and walk up the sidewalk past where the busses stop. Across from the parking lot and after some trees, you'll see a paved path going up over a slight hill on your left (going north), take that path across a field and you'll see us at the top of the hill!
If you Google-map 100 Gallatin Street NE, you'll see the field from the satellite view and the path that connects Gallatin street to the metro stop.
Please contact NeighborhoodFarm@gmail.com or visit our website for more info, http://www.neighborhoodfarminitiative.org/
Can't wait to see you there! "

Monday, September 19, 2011

SMD 5A Community Meeting

The ANC SMD 5A monthly community meeting will be held  Wenesday September 28th from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at the lecture Hall of Providence Hospital.  The Meeting Agenda Includes:
· Meet and Greet
· ANC Call to Order – Welcome
· Open Forum – Neighborhood Concerns & Issues
Scheduled to attend as the months guest speaker is current MPD Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier.  Ward 5 Councilmember Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr is also scheduled to be in attendance. 

Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Time: 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Place: Providence Hospital – Lecture Hall
1150 Varnum Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017
- Meet and Greet
- ANC Call to Order – Welcome
- Open Forum – Neighborhood Concerns & Issues
- Introduction of Guest Speaker
       - MPD Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier
- Councilmember Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr.- Ward 5
- Councilmember-At-Large, Vincent Orange (invited)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Youth Breakfast Fundraiser for Boystown

Boys Town DC will be hosting their "Spirit of Youth Breakfast Fundraiser" September 22nd at the Ritz Carlton on 22nd St in the District.  The nationwide organization, which has it's DC location in the Michigan Park area is dedicated to assisting the city's at-risk youth by providing them various services form housing, to mentorship and trianing.  Not only is the organization selling tickets for the event, they are also looking for sponsors!  Details can be found on the Boys Town DC Website or by contacting Tosha Roundtree, Boys Town Washington, D.C. Development Director at 202-650-6313 or tosha.roundtree@boystown.org.

                         Date:  Thursday, September 22
                         Time: Networking 7:30 a.m., Program 8:30 - 10 a.m.
                         Location:  The Ritz Carlton
                                           1150 22nd St, NW
                                           Washington, D.C. 20037

                             Buy Tickets or Sponsor The Eevent Here!

Friday, April 22, 2011

DC Works! One Stop Shop Career Center Moving Into CCDC Backus

 With all the announced projects coming to the District (and specifically Ward 5), the apparent lack of qualified DC residents to fill the forecoming job openings is clear.  While the expansion of UDC-CCDC throughout the city provides one means to creating an in demand workforce, the DC Department of Employment Services (DoES) provides another avenue to create a more competent and valued workforce.  DoES runs a series of Career Centers that provide various levels and types of training and assistance to the Districts current workforce.  However, news of a DC Works! One Stop Career Center moving into the newly renovated CCDC Backus Campus is causing quite a stir in the surrounding communities. 
   The move, initially announced in a Feb, 2011 brief given by the DoES, will close the current One Stop Center on Franklin St, NE  and relocate it to the CCDC Backus Campus this month.    The DC Works! One Stop Career Centers provide job seekers with a number of employment opportunities. Each center provides career counseling, career planning, resume assistance, direct job placement, classroom and on-the-job training, access to America's Job Bank (both online and via telephone), information about local and national labor markets, unemployment compensation and much more.  Daily workshops are held to better train the DC workforce to compete in todays local and national job markets.  The move would allow DoES to leverage CCDC's ability to provide  training in Health care, Construction trades, Hospitality and Office and Administrative technology in their training and placement efforts.
  At first glance this move appears to be a natural fit, and would benefit not only CCDC and DoES, but the community as a whole.  Many local residents however, seem to see it in a differnet light.  Many feel this agreement was made with little neighborhood involvement, and almost no notification.  An open house was held at CCDC with Councilmember Thomas Wednesday (20 April 2011) afternoon, but many people only received notification of the meeting late that very afternoon.  Some residents equate the One Stop Center as  an employment "DMV," which will bring many people into the neighborhood and disturbe the quiet peace many enjoy.  Some fear that the increase in people traffic to the area will bring in an undesired element.  All concerns for increased traffic and crime aside, the lack of preceived communitcation between city leaders and the community seems to be the real issue.  Many community members do not fully understand the size and scope of this proposed move, or even what DC Works! programs provide the community.  The impact on the neighborhood will be very clear soon, as the new one Stop Center will be opening it's doors in meer weeks.

How do you Feel about the relocation of the DC Works! One Stop Career Center to CCDC?

Fatal Shooting near South Dakota and Riggs Rd. Intersection

  News Channel 4 is reporting that a fatal shooting occured last night near the intersection of Riggs Rd and South Dakota Ave.  The victim appears to be an african american male, with other details not currently being released at this time.  We will update as more information is released on this incident.
 This crime comes on the heels of an indicent that took place earlier this month.  40 year old male, Kirk Garnes was found in the rear of the 200 block of Riggs Road, NE. due to apparant extreme blunt force trauma to his upper body.  Mr. Garnes was pronounced dead on the scene. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ward 5 Easter Egg Roll

Now that spring time has arrived, we are all looking for better ways to get out and enjoy our community a little bit more.  This coming Monday, Ward 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas Jr. is giving us that chance.  The Councilmember will be hosting the  "Ward 5 Easter Egg Roll" on Monday, April 25th at Ft. Circle Park on South Dakota Avenue from Noon until 4:00 PM.  
View Easter Egg Roll in a larger map
The event will be a great chance to not only meet with your Ward 5 Councilmember, but also to meet some of your neighbors and enjoy the food, fun and giveways for the kiddies!  More information can be obtained by contacting Councilmember's Office or by visiting his website here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ft. Totten in the News

Alot of peoiple have been worried about grim outlook of Ft. Totten in DCMud post a few weeks ago.  The post viewed Ft. Totten as a lost cause and floundering.  However, we were contacted by Andrew Siddons of Urban Turf right before the DCMud article ran, and had began talking with him on his neighborhood profile piece.  His article has finally ran, and it paints a much different picture of our quiet corner of the city.  Regardless of which position you side with, it is always interesting to see our neighborhood garnish a little attention.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Ft. Totten Metro Station Edition

  As the construction traffic increases and multiple development projects prepare to permanently change the neighborhood landscape surrounding the Ft. Totten Metro, the residents are left pondering the question "what is being done to improve the neighborhood for us."  Well, DDOT has heard your pleas.  In fact, a little known plan has been in existence for quite some time that will totally re-invent the current pedestrian, cycle and motorized traffic patterns around the entire neighborhood.  The selected design concept for 1st Pl and Galloway St, NE will improve circulation in the area, improve the astetics of the metro station and make it more comfortable for all users going to and from the Fort Totten Metrorail Station.
  As a means of sharing this information with the neighborhood and getting your input and feedback, DDOT will be holding a meeting reviewig the proposed plan this coming Tuesday at the WMATA Police substation.  The presentation will not only review the changes to the station astetics, but also show proposed path locations (yes a cut through for the park between g\Galloway and Gallatain is in the proposal!), improved traffic signals/signage, improved lighting, improved bike storage/access and improved/additional cross walks (the below maps details areas and changes that were studied for the proposal).  If you live in the neighborhoods surrounding , or regularly use, the Ft. Totten Metrorail Station, this meeting is a must attend!

 CommunityWalk Map - 1st Place and Galloway Street NE Transportation Access Study and Improvement Plan

Ft. Totten Metro Station Transportation Access Final Project Presentation
Date: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Location: WMATA Police Substation
5315 1st Place NE
Washington DC 20011
(next to the Fort Totten Metrorail Station)
Presentation Agenda:
1. Recap of the project goals & process
2. Present preferred design
3. Discuss next steps for the design

Find out more at: http://www.tooledesign.com/forttotten

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SMD 5A05 Community Meeting

This is a reminder to everyone that the Single Member District 5A05 Communnity Meeting is happenign in hte next few days.  Get out and make your voice heard.

Meeting Agenda Includes:

· Meet and Greet
· ANC Call to Order – Welcome
· Open Forum – Neighborhood Concerns & Issues
· Introduction of Guest Speaker
Councilmember Harry “Tommy” Thomas, Jr.
Ward 5 Chairman, Economic Development Committee

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Place: Providence Hospital – Lecture Hall
1150 Varnum Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017

Monday, January 3, 2011

Post Holiday Items of Note

Join Council-member Harry "Tommy" Thomas at the Ward 5 Council Office Open House on Tuesday, January 4, 2011, from 3 to 7 PM to celebrate the beginning of his second term.  Festivities follow the first legislative session of City Council Period 19. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW -- Suite 107

North Michigan Park Civic Association Meeting
Wednesday, January 5th at 7pm
Guest: Councilmember Phil Mendelson

Holiday Tree Collection between January 3rd and 15th
Holiday trees and wreaths will be picked up curbside from January 3 to January 15. Remove all decorations and place the greenery in the treebox space in front of your home between Sunday, January 2, and Sunday, January 9. Please do not put the trees in plastic or cloth bags.
• Any trees not collected by January 15 should be set out with your trash to be picked up as space in the trash trucks allows over the following weeks.