05 Oct 2021


Hill Buzz

Good evening, neighbors! I hope that, if you are a parent, you’re setting your alarm so you can be bright and early tomorrow morning, starting at 7:45 a.m. at Lincoln Park to celebrate Walk to School Day! Go for the speeches, stay for the free swag and the photo op! The yearly event, put on by the Ward 6 Public School Parents Organization, is meant to raise awareness of our children walking to school– and of the many dangers they encounter. This year, W6PSPO has partnered up with Greater Greater Washington to raise even more awareness, and they encourage everyone –yes, not just parents and children, but EVERYONE– to document the spots they encounter on their daily walks with photos and video. Tag your photos and videos #everyblockcounts or email them to everyblockcountsdc@gmail.com

You may be wondering, why is it necessary to raise awareness of children’s safe transiting? She was not going to school, but Allison Hart was a 5 year-old girl who is no longer with us because of traffic violence. Her mother tweeted this heartrending reminder today:

Have you lost someone dear to COVID? Reader @magsdrn tagged us in this photo of her father, who died of the disease after being vaccinated. Thank you for sharing your grief with us.

Today had its share of unwelcome excitement in our area, as 55-year old Dale Paul Melvin of Kimball, MI, parked his car illegally in front of the Supreme Court. As this was not Mr. Melvin’s first encounter with Capitol Police –he’d made “concerning statements” back in August– action was swift. Streets around the area were closed and after approximately two hours, the man was apprehended. A search of the vehicle yielded no weapons. U.S. Capitol Police press release

In other news, the District continues to clean up homeless encampments around the area. Unfortunately, according to DCist, the unhoused residents are not all being relocated to permanent housing just yet– only about half of those living in the K and L Street underpasses have secured housing. Yesterday’s encampment cleanup was stopped because workers attempted to bulldoze a resident still in his tent. You can watch footage below from Mike Murillo from WTOP:

And it looks like the National Park Service is also getting antsy to, uh, “maintain” the triangle parks around Massachusetts Avenue. You know, the ones that before COVID had very long grass and broken benches? Yeah, those:

As of this writing, the District has been cleaning and putting up Jersey barriers to prevent future encampments from going up again in the overpasses. If you’re a neighbor who is interested in showing your support for our unhoused population and want to take a stand against so-called “no-tent zones,” consider signing this petition –which corresponds to this letter– and read this statement from non-profit organization The Way Home on the District’s actions against the homeless.

Not all is bleak: our Ward councilmember, Charles Allen, reintroduced a bill called Metro for DC. If it passes, the bill would give DC residents a $100 monthly subsidy to ride Metro bus and rail, which basically is like riding for free (but you have to register your SmarTrip to get the benefit). The bill would also focus on creating new bus routes, because what good is a free ride if it doesn’t go where you go? Also, the bill will be rolled out slowly, focusing on those who need it most first. If you want to learn more about this bill, visit metrofordc.com. I’m getting misty-eyed just thinking about all the route possibilities. According to The Washington Post, the bill is supported by ten out of the 13 members of the Council.

After years of being vacant and dilapidated, 301 Massachusetts Avenue NE will become Pupatella, according to the Hill Rag. This is great news for the area, and Pupatella is sure to be a welcome tenant– better than a vacant corner, anyway.

By the way, the Friends of the Southeast Library still need your help. As you may have read here previously, the renovation redesign has taken half of the space they’d need to store books so they can sell them to benefit the Southeast Public Library. If you’d like to lend your voice in help of the Friends, sign this petition. Have books you want to donate? Email  Bob Gellman at bob@bobgellman.com.

Not in the area, but possibly interesting: “The White House Plumbers,” an HBO limited series, is still filming around DC. If you see lots of sweet ’70s rides and anachronistic dress when you pop out for lunch, you know it’s happening. This week, they’ll be filming around the Virginia Avenue/New Hampshire Avenue/Rock Creek Parkway area. If you see something fun, give us a tag!

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