Welcome to the first Hill Buzz of 2023! Hope the New Year brings good things to you and your loved ones!
The year already started off with a literal bang, when some possibly bored youths (?) set off what was a large firecracker, possibly an M-80, on the ice at Canal Park. The incident took place at around 10 p.m. on New Year’s Day. It sounds innocuous enough, but the explosion shattered a glass pane and made buildings rattle. It was also heard as far as Edgewood, Brookland and Minnesota Avenue, per your feedback via Twitter. The Washington Examiner has some video of the immediate smoky aftermath.
January second brought a shooting in the afternoon. The 1500 block of G Street SE was riddled with bullets a little before 6 p.m. Alan Henney had details yesterday, as well as today’s redacted police report. Neighbor Jen Howard shared her perspective as a witness, replying to neighbor John Cochran’s observation that gun-related crime in the area has dramatically increased:
17-year old Martez Toney of Washington, DC, is the first gun-related of 2023. He was waiting for the bus along with a 14-year old who was hurt in the shooting, yesterday evening in the 1500 block of Alabama Avenue SE. WJLA-7
The last gun death of 2022 was 32-year old Reeky Garner, of Northeast DC. He was found at around 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve in the 900 block of 12th Street SE, following reports of gunfire. WTOP
The Police Union is upset about the violent crime increase in the past three years and they are blaming Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen for what they view as a “failed experiment” in police reform. Councilmember Allen called out the union on their divisive rhetoric and pointed to the full police budget request and $20k recruitment bonus as bona fide gestures toward current and future MPD members. WUSA-9
The Washington Informer reported on today’s Mayoral swearing-in ceremony. This is a special ceremony for Mayor Bowser, as it cements her legacy as the first Black woman to be elected three times to the post.
The new year may not have started on the best note, but food always makes the problems a little easier to bear. Eater reports that Filipino pop-up restaurant Hiraya. will be popping up permanently at 1248-1250 H Street NE. That property has been vacant or under construction for years, so this is a very welcome addition all around.
Due to Ward 7 Councilmember Vince Gray’s health problems, Chairman Phil Mendelson reorganized committee leadership in the Council of DC. Gray is upset and feels his rights have been violated. Washington Informer
Do you love Spicy Water grill at Eastern Market? The West African grill is bringing their perfectly spiced chicken to a bricks-and-mortar place on U Street and announced their opening last week on their Instagram! Big congratulations to them!