31 Jan 2024

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Hill Buzz

We’re in the mood for more snow. Beautiful hues in this capture from @vtjawo via Instagram. Tag us @thehillishome for a chance to be featured!

It’s the last day of January. Where did 1/12th of the year go already? Don’t answer that–– let’s look at some headlines that may interest you from the past week.

In news only surprising if you’re new here, ethics-challenged former councilmember Jack Evans has been given a new lease on his political life. He was appointed by Council Chair Phil Mendelson to the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, because apparently DC doesn’t have enough artists to sit on this commission, even on a temporary basis. Washington Post

And Michael A. Brown, the former councilmember who pled guilty to bribery charges, is running to challenge Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton. WaPo

And then we wonder why we’re not yet a state.

The Hill Center held a forum hosted by Charles Allen yesterday evening on public safety, underage criminality and how these crimes are persecuted. Most everyone who spoke was excellent, but DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb was especially clear, thoughtful and direct in his responses. Guns Down Friday’s Jawanna Hardy brought a much-needed real perspective from someone who’s actually spent time with at-risk kids.. The forum is available on the Hill Center’s Facebook and anyone, regardless of Facebook account status, can view it. You may want to skip the first five minutes or so, because the audio is not great. The public’s questions start around the one-hour mark.

Unfortunately, neighbors in Hill East are weary after back-to-back incidents with flying bullets during the daytime. WUSA-9 reports.

But this feeling in Hill East is far from new, as this nine-year old column from Capitol Hill Corner indicates.

You’ve been warned: $100 fines for stopping, parking or using the bus lane when you’re not a bus are now being enforced. No one likes to hear it, but if you can’t do the fine, don’t do the crime. WaPo

Looks like DCPS wants to merge Maury and Miner Elementary schools, and create a type of cluster situation in the fashion of the Capitol Hill Cluster. This would create a more diverse campus that would redistribute the number of at-risk students and would, ideally, reduce the glaring pattern of segregation between two schools less than one mile away. The first red flag in all this? At the initial meeting back in December, no representatives of Miner Elementary were invited to the discussion table. (Valerie Jablow on X)
There are petitions both in favor and against the merging of the schools, and a recent op-ed from the Hill Rag by parent Ben Wasserman gave a platform to the opposing side. This quote sums up his argument well:

DME’s goals of increasing socioeconomic and racial diversity and ensuring equitable access to high-quality schools are commendable.  But I cannot support a rushed proposal that was inadequately studied and, based on all available empirical data, will result in the creation of lower-quality schools and a worse education for our children – including my daughters – than existed before the pairing. 


As you can imagine, the DC Urban Moms (and Dads) boards are very alive with this discussion, attracting both intelligent commentary and the usual anonymous cesspool-y type of troll comments we’ve all come to expect from DCUM, emphasis on the last three letters.

A 9- and a 13-year old attempted to rob a woman at knifepoint, but were thwarted in their efforts by her quick mace-spraying skills and by the police. It’s easy to ask oneself where the parents of these kids are, but the sad reality is that many are already in jail. WaPo

More than 99 miles of bike lanes in DC but Ward 8 ain’t got one, so activists are fighting to get some–– despite opposition. WUSA-9 has more details. We hope they are able to get what they need, but they might need to change Ward 8 councilmember Trayon White’s mind first (Curbed DC).

Do you love the pilot composting program? Learn more about it in this Greater Greater Washington column.

The James Beard Award semifinalists were announced last week and it was a thrill to see so many of our favorites on the list. Of special note are the following: Outstanding Restaurateur, Hollis Wells Silverman, Eastern Point Collective (The Duck and the Peach, The Wells and La Collina); Outstanding Restaurant, Pineapple & Pearls; Outstanding Chef, Michael Rafidi, Albi; Outstanding Bakery, Pluma by Bluebird Bakery; Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, Keen Hughely, Bronze. Congratulations and best of luck to all the semifinalists. For the whole list, click here.

Reminder: The MySchool DC Lottery closes TONIGHT for 9-12 grade applicants. More info here.


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