Saturday, October 20, 2007

Previous muggings

Some people had asked for info regarding previous muggings at or near the Metro station. Here's the what the e-mails said:

Sent: Monday, October 08, 2007 5:30 PM
Subject: Re: [mvsna] Armed mugging 600 block of M Street this morning

Thanks for the info.

Same thing happened to me 2 weeks ago - 2 guys on the south side of the 600 block of M Street at 6:15am. I never saw a weapon since they choked me unconscious without much of a struggle.

I would add to your warning to be particularly cautious on that block, and to be cautious any time before the sun comes up, until these guys have a reason to move on to a different spot.

> Subject: [mvsna] Armed mugging 600 block of M Street this morning> Sent: 08 Oct '07 14:04

> My friend who lives in the Washington Apts was mugged this morning at
> 5:23AM. He was on the south side of M street walking towards the

> Metro when two guys jumped out and threw him into the bushes. They
> attempted to choke him out and take his belongings. He was able to
> fight them off, however they eventually pulled out a gun. Obviously
> keep your wits about you if you find yourself out at night.

This was also posted on the Mt. Vernon Square blog here.

This regarding the Metro elevator incident:

Tuesday July 24th 2007; aprox 10:30AM


One of my tenants was attacked in the Mt Vernon Sq Metro elevator by 4 individuals.

It consisted of 2 males and 2 females. 2 suspects held his arms while one was watching out, the other were searching his pockets and bags.

Toward the end of the event my tenant was beaten and ended up in hospital with 13 stitches. Yes, he was sent to the hospital in the AM!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another Mugging 600 Block of M Street

A neighbor on Ridge Street sent this e-mail this morning:

THURS evening 5:30pm or so, 18 OCT 07, 600 Block of M St. NW
Out houseguest was walking from our home on Ridge Street NW to the Mt. Vernon Sq. METRO Station. He was heavily burdened with his travel luggage: pull bag, backpack and briefcase.
His young assailant [early 20's] approached from the front as our guest was walking on the North side of M Street. ASSAILANT attempted to wrench our friend's backpack from him, but failed since both arms were through the straps. Knocking him down and kicking him in the head/face, the ASSAILANT tried again to get the backpack.
Our friend is a professionally trained wrestler -- he tackled the ASSAILANT and tried to pin him to the ground, but burdened with all his luggage he couldn't sustain the hold and the ASSAILANT fled.
UPSHOT: Nothing was stolen. The facial bruises did not require medical attention.
POLICE: Although called, said they were "not available to take a report just now." Rather than miss his train home to WVA, our friend continued on his way. He will file a report later.
ASSAILANT: The word conveys none of the anger and disgust I feel for the brutal child who in his ignorance attacked our friend. He will find it difficult in his life to escape the ripening of this Karma.
IRONY: I was busy at the time of the attack, attending Ms. Harolyn Blackwell, a local Shaw diva, born and raised on Irving Street. Ms. Blackwell was singing at His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Gala Celebration of World Peace at the Mellon Auditorium. Ms. Blackwell and I mused about all the good changes in Shaw since she grew up here.

This is the third such recent mugging I know about in this block, not counting a beating/mugging in the station elevator. At the Mt. Vernon Square meeting this week, police said they had caught the "chokehold" muggers, but it looks like there are more, or else the perps are out on bond and back at work. The MO sounds slightly different, but still fits the pattern of preying on people heading to the metro.

This is a busy block walked by many people, and it clearly deserves some concentrated police attention. Until the last month or so, I had considered the area around this station to be fairly safe, since we had not (to my knowledge, anyway) had the kind of attacks on metro patrons that have plagued the Shaw/Howard station just up the line. (Haven't heard anything about that lately, come to think of it.)

Maybe we residents need to try to embarrass the city into providing better security in the vicinity of the station by demonstrating at the Convention Center with signs pointing out the crime problem. MVSNA got a lot of attention from its demo at Fun Fair, and frankly I think this is more serious.

Bottom line in the meantime: Stay alert when you're walking near the Metro station.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Neighborhood Clean-up Tomorrow

Jason over at Treebox Vodka has organized another neighborhood clean-up for Saturday, October 13. The meeting point is 11th and O at 9:00 a.m., and this one will focus on O Street. Details here.

I won't be able to make it for the group effort, but will do my bit by continuing the Sisyphean task of picking up the trash strewn daily on our semi-bedraggled block of O. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Alas, I don't think the mattress and boxspring dumped at the derelict house at 509 will fit in the trash bags.

Thanks to all the good folks who keep trying.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Saint Ann Explains it All to You

In case you missed Donnie Deutsch's interview with tranny SS dominatrix/ Republican attack bitch Ann Coulter, check out this clip on YouTube.

Here St. Ann (who as we all know is a real religious girl) explains that Christians are really "perfected Jews" and in her ideal world all Jews would be "perfected". (Actually, isn't that sort of what the Inquisition was all about?)

She further observes that Jews are supposed to obey all those annoying commandments, but Christianity is like "Federal Express"--you just go straight to the big jackpot without having to worry about stuff like that. (Must have missed that part in Sunday School.)

Don't know about you, but her theology would sure make me want to convert.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Further Thoughts on the ANC Non-Meeting

If you haven’t already, take a look at Si’s post on the Mt. Vernon Square blog regarding Carole Mumin’s testimony regarding OFTON on Wednesday’s non-meeting and also at Martin’s comment on that. This certainly raises questions about why she singled out Kevin Chapple, but never mentioned the letter from ANC Chair Doris Brooks demanding that her organization repay the grant money it had received. (Kevin raised that point, but I’m not sure it actually registered with most people there.)

Here’s the thing: No one is questioning whether OFTON is a worthy organization that does good work in the community and deserves support. But that does not exempt it (or any other recipient of public funds) from the obligation to provide required documentation to show that the money is being used for the intended purpose.

There really is no need for the displays of righteous indignation—the “how dare you question me when I’ve done such and such” or “...when I’ve been in this neighborhood for X number of years.” That’s not a proper answer, but we get this over and over again in ANC meetings.

If, as appears to be the case here, there was a simple mistake and the required documents are available to be submitted, then fine—send them in and be done with it. There’s nothing wrong with saying that there was a mix-up and the issue is now resolved. But why claim that Kevin has done her an injury, when the alleged infraction was turned up not by him, but by the DC Auditor in the course of looking at other ANC grants?

Why should a demand for accountability be taken as a personal affront? It’s not. It’s the way things should work. If you’ve actually used public funds for the purpose you received them, then why should anyone be embarrassed at being asked to demonstrate that? The only embarrassment is if the funds weren’t used properly.

Unfortunately, I think this defensiveness is a symptom of the climate of non-accountability that has plagued DC for so long and is finally—hopefully—starting to change. Basically, this is why DC schools are in such lousy physical condition (let alone the academics) even though they enjoy quite lavish funding. It’s why DC bureaucracies are often so incompetent and unresponsive, compared to suburban jurisdictions. (Please, spare me the why-don’t-you-move-to-Virginia comments.) If you never demand accountability, it just encourages waste, cronyism, incompetence, and distribution of government services according to how much personal clout you have rather than according to where they’re most needed.

The sums involved in ANC grants are pretty small, but the principle is not. There’s nothing wrong with asking where the money went, and there’s no indignity in having to answer.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

ANC Meeting Tonight

Well, this meeting was certainly unusual. I'm sure there will be video soon, but here's my quick summary.

Things were a little late getting started because Barbara Curtis wasn't there, but Chair Brooks and the Parliamentarian finally started the meeting anyway. The treasurer's report was approved, then Brooks make a motion to approve the September minutes. Padro amended to approve them with corrections; he and Chapple voted aye and Brooks initially voted nay, then with a little nudging from the Parliamentarian, changed her vote. Then, about 6:45, she bolted from the room, hands to mouth, appearing to be sick. A few minutes later, she returned briefly, closed the meeting, and left the building with the Parliamentarian.

This left all the would-be presenters high and dry, so Padro offered to chair a continued unofficial meeting. First to speak was Carole Mumin (I believe the name is right), the president of OFT/ON (Organization for Training Others in Need), who was there to respond to the citation by the DC Auditor of failure to provide proper receipts for an ANC grant to her organization. (That aspect of the report had escaped my notice, I must admit.) She said she had mistakenly submitted the wrong receipts to the auditor and was prepared to present a package of the correct ones to the ANC (which she couldn't officially do because the meeting had been adjourned). She expressed hurt and indignation over the charge, citing the good work the organization had done, and had several graduates of the program there to speak about how they had benefitted from it.
(I was unaware of the organization previously, but it sounds like they do some worthy things.) She chided Chapple for making unproven allegations in his newsletter, and he responded that he had merely quoted the Auditor's report. Then there was some discussion about the ECCA computers not being in public locations. One suggestion (a good one, I think) was to place the computers in the Scott Montgomery School. Some of this got a little emotional, but nothing like the degree we've seen in other meetings, and it was all on a pretty civil level--at least for our benighted ANC.

Then there was a presentation on the proposed high rise rental apartment building in the 400 block of NY Avenue, just west of the Yale Laundry building. The project has concept approval from Historic Review, but will need some zoning variations. There were concerns expressed about height and shadows and whether there would be any "affordable housing" included (answer: none planned), and then it got sort of dragged into the weeds about aesthetic issues. More to come on this.

Mark Bjorge (pronounced Bee-Your_Gee) introduced himself as the new Ward 2 Neighborhood Services Coordinator (replacing Sean Howard). He can be reached at or at 202-442-8151.

Louella Johnson who works with supervising people out of jail on probation, made a plea for mentors. I believe she said that mentors should be "members of a church"--not sure why that should be a requirement. I'm afraid I missed the contact information.

Then there was a presentation by one of the proposals for Parcel 42. This proposal would be a building that could be built "by right" (i.e., not requiring any zoning variance), and would consist of retail on the ground floor and all "affordable housing" for the rental units, whose maximum rents would range from around $900 to $1200 (if I heard that right). Hmm, I wonder if that's such a great idea; I think a mixed affordable/market project would be preferable.

That was pretty much it. A visitor from the other side of NJ Avenue remarked that we're "mean" over here (compared to the apparent lovefest ANC meetings over there). I just laughed and said, "honey, this was nothing."