31 Mar 2021

Hill Buzz

Happy Wednesday and happy last day of March, 2021, which is leaving us like a very wet lamb. What’s going on?

We all need a little encouragement now and again. Thank you for the reminder, @bigntoasty. Tag your empathy #thehillishome

First up, on Friday, March 26, a little before noon, a noose was discovered hanging from one of the taller trees in the courtyard of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Independent journalist Alan Henney tweeted the incident and I was able to make it to the scene while the noose was still on display. MPD had it taken down by a forensics team in order to support an investigation. St. Mark’s rector Michele Morgan was visibly upset by the noose and told me that within the past year, two Black Lives Matter banners were torn from the church property. The Rt. Reverend Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, was also present to lend moral support and, later, helped lead a group in prayer to reconsecrate the tree and the space.

This is not the first sign of hate seen around our neighborhood, but it’s an aggressive and unambiguously hateful one. The Thirteen, a professional chamber choir, was rehearsing for a performance of Bach’s St. John’s Passion which was to happen the following day. Here is their statement (edited for length):

The Thirteen’s Artistic Director, Matthew Robertson, was horrified to see a rope tied into a noose on a tree outside St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, where [we were] rehearsing for a… performance of Bach’s St. John’s Passion. We do not know whether the person or persons who did this were referencing our… performance, or whether they even knew
about it. What we do know is that our production of the St. John’s Passion seeks to explore the subject of systemic racism, and that the singer performing the role of Jesus is Black. He is Jonathan Woody, an exceptionally talented baritone who is from the D.C. area and performs
internationally. Whether this crime of hatred was directed at our production, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, or at someone else, we deplore it absolutely, and we will take appropriate steps to provide security for our personnel.

The Metropolitan Police Department informs me that the investigation is still active. “These types of offenses are taken seriously and are entirely unacceptable. We are currently investigating this as a possible hate crime. Our Special Liaison Branch is providing continual contact and support with the church at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call 202-727-9099 or text your information anonymously to 50411.”

On behalf of myself and Robert, I would like to send thoughts of healing to the St. Mark’s community and to the Black community in particular. Hate has no home here, no matter how hard it may try to divide us.

There are more things going on:

No, it’s not an April fool: Baseball is truly back! If you’re one of the 5000 lucky fans going to the ballpark tomorrow, repeat after me: The Nats are still the champions. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Click here to follow the play-by-play on ESPN if you’re not by a TV or at the park.

You know who’s super happy baseball’s back? All our local eateries! WUSA-9 rejoices along with all the old and new spots dotting Nationals Park.

Armed carjackings have increased fourfold compared to this time last year. The most disturbing trend is that the perpetrators tend to be teenagers. Last week’s gruesome carjacking-turned-murder was carried out by a 13-year old from Southeast DC and a 15-year old from Fort Washington, Maryland (New York Post). The girls are due in court today, according to WUSA-9, and a Pakistani-American organization wants to see this case investigated as a hate crime. While it’s understandable that the Pakistani-American community is devastated after losing one of their own to a senseless tragedy, it begs the question of whether this terribly botched carjacking is a premeditated act at all.

Happy trails to Julie Aaronson, who’s been Executive Director of CHAMPS for the past three years. CHAMPS is now looking for a new ED. Do you think you have what it takes? Click here for more information.

The Washington Informer recapped Acting Chief Robert Contee III’s confirmation hearing.

If this adorable wedding is any indication, having your first date at Trattoria Alberto on Barracks Row is a harbinger of marital bliss. Be ye warned (or prepare accordingly and fall in love over some Veal alla Boehner). Washingtonian

In all the years writing the Hill Buzz, this may be the first instance of linking to People magazine, but hey– they are still abuzz with our newest neighbors and political spouses and we get that.

If you’ve been filling out the Stanford University national daily health survey for Coronavirus, or if you started to do it and then fell off the wagon, the last day they collected information was Monday. You can now take a look at all the data collected and interpreted here.

Mt. Moriah Baptist Church hosted a vaccination effort with the help of Howard University and Councilmember Charles Allen last Friday. The effort was aimed at targeting vaccine disparity in zipcode 20003, an issue first raised by ANC 6B09 commissioner Alison Horn back in early March. Hill Rag

Ever wonder which are the most hated intersections in DC? Friend of the blog Charlotte Jackson took a look at the data and ranked them for Greater Greater Washington. The number one spot will NOT surprise you or anyone who’s ever had to go through it.

A Good Samaritan rescued a 7-month pregnant woman and her dog out of the Anacostia river, around the Navy Yard area, on Sunday morning. Would love to know more about this story. PoPville

Be on the lookout: A giant, 225-foot tall projection providing an immersive Cherry Blossom experience is coming to the 100 block of Florida Avenue NE tomorrow, Friday and Saturday. It will shine from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Share your story: “The US Capitol Historical Society is collecting oral histories from people in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and beyond about their experiences on January 6th and in the aftermath. While many have focused on the experiences of elected officials, law enforcement, etc., there has been a lack of coverage on the effects of the attack on the DC community. We hope you will join us in collecting those stories! We plan to post these recordings to our website and potentially feature them in blog posts or social media.If you are interested, please email communications@uschs.org

Finally, the National Building Museum– long a favorite of Capitol Hill families– is reopening next Friday, April 9. You can read more about it here.

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