08 Dec 2020


Hill Buzz

It’s gorgeous and chilly– the perfect weather combo to sit with your coffee and read the Hill Buzz! We’re a whole week into December: have you done some holiday shopping or are you done? If you’re pressed for ideas, I’m sharing all manner of local favorites on Instagram stories– click on the highlight reel here.

Okay. On to the news. First off, MPD wants to know if you’ve seen this person who did some shopping at the CVS on New Jersey Avenue SE this past November 26 and forgot to pay. You can watch the entire mesmerizing video here (are we ever truly unwatched?!) and contact MPD at (202) 727-9099 if you have a tip.

A homicide took place IN THE MIDDLE OF 295 last week, but this sentence in the MPD report needs some work: “At approximately 3:11 am, members of the Sixth District responded to the listed location for the report of an individual in the roadway. Upon arrival, members located an adult male victim suffering from a gunshot wound in the northbound travel lanes.” I want to know where on the body are the northbound travel lanes? Forgive me for the tasteless joke. Timothy Logan of northeast DC was only 20 years old and didn’t deserve to die.

Humor may be the way to make it through this dumpster fire of a year, but joking about COVID results and pushing a server to quarantine and lose two weeks’ worth of wages is not. This is what happened at Brookland’s Finest, a restaurant owned by the pug’s owner, Tony Tomelden. Eater has the clarification from the original viral tweet plus additional details (which Tony had gone ahead and tweeted out as well).

How can you resist the Union Station tree? Sure, everywhere around it is a terrifying, empty dystopia. But the tree is nice. Photo by @themadamemeow on Instagram (hey, that’s me!)

In case you missed the Brickie awards show last week, it was a pretty great show. As with other years, all winners make us better as a community. We stand in awe of these wonderful, selfless people who care for us. Watch it here if you missed it and have a hankie on standby.

This week’s WalletHub ranking on the most sinful cities is interesting. Apparently, according to their metrics, DC ranks in the top ten for most sinful cities in the country. We’d like to respectfully theorize that the people who filled out that survey are probably very recent transplants and we disown them.

Chancellor Ferebee is optimistic that schools will reopen in February (Washington Post), but very respectfully, this is a bananas thing to say considering that over 17% of outbreaks in the District have come from K-12 schools. That’s more than have happened in restaurants. (DC COVID data) This is a time to just come to terms that everything is bad– yes, our kids are depressed and falling behind and a schoolday in pajamas is a travesty but good luck convincing my kids to get dressed. But bringing people together in a school building is not the better alternative, by a long shot.

As if you needed anything else to further erode whatever confidence you may have in DCPS, FOIA appeals reveal that schools that have had instances of sexual misconduct have been unevenly transparent in their parent communications. Washington City Paper investigates. This paragraph is especially disheartening:

In the fall of 2019, DCPS established a Student Safety Task Force to engage families around the implementation of sexual misconduct policies and student sexual health curricula. It had four meetings and was dissolved in early 2020.

Danica Petroshius, a Capitol Hill Montessori parent and one of the task force members, tells City Paper she felt most of the meetings consisted of DCPS officials telling parents what they were doing, with little time for discussion afterwards. “I will say that we asked for a lot of good information and we asked a lot of good questions, but we were just starting to scratch the surface when they decided to end the meetings,” she said.

A post over on Washingtonian on lit-up houses all over the District– although we can’t help but notice that it sounds a lot like our #lightupthehill map idea — even the two first screenshots are Capitol Hill, where readers tagged us! Anyway, anyone can have the same adorable idea and this post takes you all over town. Enjoy!

Larry at Capitol Hill Corner has updates on the Pennsylvania and Potomac Avenues improvement. And if you want to know more about the Maryland Avenue projects, click here for updates and invest in noise-cancelling headphones.

Are you an empty nester with opinions and about 75 minutes free? Sign up for a paid virtual focus group! The Patch has details.

ANC 6A is working to improve the sheltering conditions at Sherwood Recreation center. Street Sense reports.

Local author Jason Reynolds supported our independent booksellers this past Giving Tuesday by buying up his own book inventory from beloved places such as Solid State Books, East City Books, Mahogany Books and Politics and Prose so people could have his books for free. Some people are just the best, honestly. WAMU

Music venues are having an incredibly hard time, not able to open and in many cases, not being able to draw any kind of revenue because they only sell alcohol. What’s more, they have space restrictions that make any kind of participation in pilot programs all but impossible. WJZ tells us about their hard times and focuses on local favorite Pie Shop. If you haven’t bought pie, now you gotta.

What does it mean to be free after 23 years in jail, but during a pandemic? DC resident Michael Plummer recently told Judy Woodruff his story of resilience in the face of having to do over so many things we don’t think twice about. PBS

At a hyperlocal level, want to make a difference in the life of an inmate? Send a letter of support through Neighbors for Justice. Sign up here to send a word of encouragement.

DCist has an interesting map on where rents are dropping the most around the area. It will come as no surprise that our area’s rental prices have dropped way, way down. Shaw is the dubious winner, with rents dropping 16%.

You can read or listen to this Motley Fool podcast on real estate investing. In it, Matt Argersinger, a Capitol Hill resident, retells his and his wife’s experience buying a home with an English Basement and how they turned that small investment into an opportunity to buy more homes and become landlords. Meditate on this: “…just go in with a long-term mindset. Real estate is not a get rich scheme. It certainly isn’t. In fact, it’s probably one of those asset classes where it’s really a marathon and not a sprint.” 

Spirit of giving: Last week’s #GivingTuesday Hill Buzz had links to many of our local non-profits. Looking for places to donate to? Start with my list!

Looking to support Black-owned businesses online? My friend Maddie made a great list that you can check out here.

A reminder: Support your favorite server, bartender, etc. The loss of hospitality-based businesses in the District is staggering and it won’t slow anytime soon. Visit the DC Virtual Tip Jar and keep supporting.

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