Monday, November 29, 2010

President Carter To Sign 'White House Diary' at Politics and Prose on November 30

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will sign copies of his White House Diary at the Politics and Prose bookstore on Tuesday, November 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The signing is not ticketed, and the line will form on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning when the store opens at 9:00 a.m.  The store will allow two books per person to be signed.  You can find more details about the event on the Politics and Prose website.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How Would You Make Connecticut Avenue Safer for Pedestrians?

At the ANC 3F November meeting, Marlene Berlin of the Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action (CAPA) group presented recommendations to improve pedestrian safety along Connecticut Avenue from Calvert Street to Chevy Chase Circle.  The recommendations included considering increasing the length of time pedestrians have to cross the street.

The Cleveland Park 2.0 blog reports that a new red light camera has been activated at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue, N.W. and Porter Street, N.W.  The camera will photograph cars running red lights.

What recommendations would you make to improve pedestrian safety along the Connecticut Avenue corridor?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Volunteers Help Clean Up Soapstone Stream

Stream Team leader Tim Williamson briefs volunteers before Soapstone clean-up, November 20, 2010.
A cell phone. A camera. A sweatshirt. All items one might take along for a hike through the woods, so I shouldn't have been surprised when a group of volunteers found all of these things during a clean-up in Rock Creek Park.  But I was.  To the casual observer, such as myself, Rock Creek Park appears a natural sanctuary surrounded by but removed from the city.  Hikers, storm water runoff and other causes, however, carry pollution and litter into the river.

Saturday morning, I joined about 20 volunteers as part of a Friends of Rock Creek's Environment (FORCE) Stream Team to help clean-up Soapstone, a tributary of Rock Creek.  The Soapstone Stream Valley Trail runs about a mile from Albemarle and 32nd Streets to Broad Branch Road.  Admittedly, the cell phone, camera and sweatshirt were some of the more unusual items we collected from this span of the park.  In less than three hours, the group collected a total of 11 bags of trash and three bags of recyclables, much of it styrofoam, paper, plastic bags and bottles.

Leaves float in Soapstone, November 20, 2010.
"I've always noticed litter in the area," said Tim Williamson, the FORCE Soapstone Valley Stream Team Leader.  "After I read about Sylvia Earle's Mission Blue and learned about the amount of trash in the ocean, I wanted to make other people aware.  There's a garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean that some say is larger than the state of Texas, and a lot of that trash comes from the land.  Plastic bottles and litter float from our rivers to the bays, and from the bays to the ocean. 

"I can't say that what we're doing today is making a huge impact on the ocean, but we are all responsible for where we live.  I hope to encourage people to make that connection, between the choices they make and the environment."

Sometimes making those choices doesn't have to be too difficult.  Something else surprised me about the clean-up: it was fun.  Some volunteers brought friends, while others made new ones.  All of us learned more about the river, and how our neighborhood is connected to it.  And I think everyone felt a sense of accomplishment when we regrouped and realized we had collectively removed 14 large bags of trash from the river.

The Soapstone Valley Stream Team will join others for a park-wide clean-up of Rock Creek on April 9, 2011.  If you are interested in joining a Stream Team or volunteering for the April 9 event, contact FORCE.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Compare and Save: Planning Your Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving is a week away, but you still have time to take advantage of sales at the grocery stores in the neighborhood. We know you're busy, so we've made a shopping list for you, with options at Giant, Safeway and Whole Foods.

Giant Food Supermarkets

  • Butterball $1.49 per pound (fresh)/ .99 per pound (frozen) 
  • Shady Brook Farms .99 per pound (fresh)/ .47 per pound (frozen) 
  • Nature's Promise $1.99 per pound (fresh)/ $1.69 per pound (frozen) 

Vegetables and Sides
  • Arnold Stuffing, 14-oz. 2 for $5.00 
  • Stove Stop Stuffing, 5-oz. 2 for $3.00 
  • McCormick Turkey Gravy Mix, 10 for $10.00 
  • Ocean Spray Fresh Cranberries, 12-oz. 2 for $5.00 
  • Ocean Spray Whole or Jellied Cranberry Sauce, 14-oz. $1.20 
  • Fresh Green Beans, $1.79 per pound 
  • Hanover Cut Green Beans, 50-oz. $2.00 
  • Jolly Green Giant Canned Vegetables, Selected Varieties 10 for $10.00 
  • French's Fried Onions, 6-oz. $2.99 
  • Campbell's Cream of Mushroom or Cream of Chicken Soups 10 for $10.00 
  • Betty Crocker Instant Mashed Potatoes, 3 for $5.00 
  • Country Crock Potato Side Dishes, 24-oz. 2 for $5.00 
  • Fresh Potatoes 
    • All Purpose, 5 pounds, 2 for $5.00 
    • Red, 5 pounds, $3.49 per pound 
    • Russet, 5 pounds, $3.49 per pound 
    • Sweet, .99 per pound 

  • Pumpkin, 8-inch $4.99 
  • Apple, 8-inch $4.99 
  • Mrs. Smith's Bake & Serve Pies, 8-inch $1.99 
  • Sara Lee Homestyle Pies, 9-inch 2 for $7.00 

Complete Turkey Dinners
  • $39.99 for 6-8 
  • $19.99 for 2


  • Butterball .89 per pound (frozen) 
  • Jennie-O Homestyle Oven Ready, 12 pounds $19.99 (frozen) 
  • Shady Brook Farms .89 per pound (frozen) 
  • Safeway .47 per pound (frozen) 

Vegetables and Sides
  • Safeway Turkey Gravy, 10.5-oz. .99 
  • Safeway Stuffing Mix, 7-oz. 4 for $5.00 
  • Stove Top Stuffing, 6-oz. 2 for $3.00 
  • Ocean Spray Fresh Cranberries, 12-oz 2 for $5.00 
  • Ocean Spray Whole or Jellied Cranberry Sauce, 14-oz. $1.29 
  • Safeway Cranberry Sauce, 16-oz. 10 for $10.00 
  • Green Line Quick & Easy Green Beans, Buy 1 Get 1 Free 
  • Del Monte Canned Corn or Green Beans, 10 for $10.00 
  • French's Fried Onions, 6-oz. $3.49 
  • Campbell's Cream of Chicken or Cream of Mushroom Soups, 5 for $4.00 
  • Signature Cafe Creamy Mashed Potatoes, 14-oz. $2.99 
  • Potatoes 
    • White, $3.49 for 5 pounds 
    • Russet, $3.49 for 5 pounds 
    • Idaho, $3.99 for 5 pounds 
    • Sweet, $1.99 per pound 

  • Pumpkin, 9-inch $3.99 
  • Apple or Cherry, 9-inch $5.99 
  • Mrs. Smith's Pre-Baked Pies, selected varieties $2.99 

Complete Turkey Dinner
  • $39.99 for 6-8 

Whole Foods

  • Fresh natural free range $2.49 per pound 
  • Fresh organic $3.49 per pound 
  • Fresh-brined $2.49 per pound 
  • Bone-in $3.99 per pound 
  • Fresh kosher $3.49 
  • Roasted Turkey, $59.99 each -- serves 6 to 8 
  • Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast, $39.99 each -- serves 4 
  • Oven Ready Turkey, Small $49.99 
  • Oven Ready Turkey, Medium $69.99 
  • Oven Ready Turkey, Large $84.99

Vegetables and Sides
  • Traditional Sage Stuffing, $8.99 (small)/ $14.99 (large) 
  • Organic Turkey Gravy, $1.19 
  • Deli Turkey Gravy, 23-oz. $6.99 
  • Deli Cranberry Orange Relish, 11-oz. $4.99 
  • 365 Brand Whole or Jellied Cranberry Sauce, 16-oz. $1.99 
  • 365 Brand Canned Corn and Green Beans, 14.5-oz. .89 to $1.69 
  • Deli Mashed Potatoes, $10.49-18.99 
  • Deli Homestyle Casseroles, $9.99-17.99 
  • 365 Brand Instant Mashed Potatoes, $1.99 per box 
  • Potatoes 
    • All Purpose Small, $3.99 for 2 pounds 
    • Gold, $5.99 for 5 pounds 
    • Red, $5.99 for 5 pounds 
    • Russet, $4.99 for 5 pounds 

  • Pumpkin, 9-inch $9.99 
  • Sharon's Sweat Potato, 9-inch $10.99 
  • Apple, Apple Cranberry, Cherry, Mixed Berry, 9-inch $16.99 
  • Pecan, 9-inch $16.99 
  • Vegan Pumpkin or Apple, 8-inch $6.99 

Complete Turkey Dinner
  • $129.99 Traditional Turkey Dinner for 8 
  • $129.99 Southern Turkey Dinner for 8 
  • $59.99 Turkey Dinner for 2 plus a few 
  • $59.99 Vegan Dinner for 2 plus a few

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    ANC 3F November Meeting Focuses on Pedestrian Safety

    A discussion on pedestrian safety and highlights from upcoming environmental events featured prominently during the November 2010 ANC 3F monthly meeting held Monday, November 15.

    Marlene Berlin of the Connecticut Avenue Pedestrian Action (CAPA) group presented the findings of a study examining pedestrian safety along Connecticut Avenue from Calvert Street to Chevy Chase Circle.  The area encompasses 44 intersections, of which 18 are unsignalized, 53 bus stops, and three metro stations.  This area sees an estimated 30,000-40,000 cars per day.  Between 2006 and 2008, there were 44 pedestrian crashes, with four fatalities.

    "There's inconsistent signage for cars," Ms. Berlin said, "and not enough time for individuals to cross the street.  Able-bodied adults need 3.5 feet per second to cross safely, and older people and children need about three feet per second."

    Ms. Berlin says these concerns should be taken into consideration by the community and city, because there are four public elementary schools whose boundaries cross Connecticut Avenue, and 14 preschools on or within a block of the street.  In addition, four seniors' residences are located on or near Connecticut Avenue.

    CAPA has devised a set of recommendations for each of the 44 intersections along the Connecticut Avenue corridor and will be publishing their report later this week.  You will be able to find the report online at  Their recommendations include increasing the time allotted to cross the street as well as means to improve drivers' visibility of along the street and photo enforcement to reduce speeding.

    Lieutenant Victor Brashnewitz with the Metropolitan Police Department, District 2, also addressed community safety at the meeting, as he provided the monthly crime report for the neighborhood.  Eight of the 26 crimes in PSA 203 over the last 60 days involved stolen bicycles, including ones taken from garages and private residences.

    The police have also seen an uptick of individuals breaking into homes in which windows and doors were unlocked.  The lieutenant reminded residents to  secure the back doors and windows of their homes.  Several laptops and iPods were also reported stolen from public places. Residents should be mindful to keep an eye on these items even when they are at their office, a library or university campus.  You can use the MPD's crime mapping application online to find out what crimes have been reported in your neighborhood.

    In other news, ANC 3F Commission Chair Karen Lee Perry advised residents that the D.C. Department of the Environment's Fisheries and Wildlife Division will be conducting nighttime wildlife surveys in the ANC 3F neighborhoods on November 27 and November 28 between sunset and 9:00 p.m.

    "Residents should be prepared to see D.C. government vehicles driving along public roads and shining spotlights into wooded areas and lawns to identify wildlife.  The spotlights will not be directed at residences' homes," Commissioner Perry said, "Drivers and other observers who come across the process should remain in their cars or homes."

    Commissioner Tom Whitley reminded residents that the "Stewardship of Rock Creek" event is taking place on Wednesday, November 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church.  The event, organized by the Friends of Rock Creek's Environment (FORCE), invites the 80 religious institutions located in the Rock Creek watershed to "green" their properties and help protect the creek.  You can find details about the event here.  Read more about FORCE volunteers here.

    The Commissioners concluded the meeting agreeing to address at least two items in December.  First, they will consider Guapo's Restaurant's application for extended hours of operation.  They will also consider seeking the placement of a Capital Bikeshare station near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Nebraska Avenue.  Read more about what Capital Bikeshare is doing in the neighborhood here.

    ANC 3F's December monthly meeting will not take place on the third Monday of the month, as regularly scheduled.  ANC Commissioners will provide more details on an alternate date and time.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    "Top of the Town": Neighborhood Celebrates Heritage Trail

    Community members pose with "Top of the Town"  Heritage Trail Sign 5, Fort Reno, November 13, 2010.
    What Washington neighborhood hosted the second Nixon-Kennedy presidential debate and introduced Kermit the Frog to the world?  Hint: It's the same neighborhood that boasts the highest elevation in the District of Columbia.

    If you guessed Tenleytown, you are correct.  It's a neighborhood that's played an important role in three wars -- it's where women of the U.S. Navy broke the Japanese code during World War II -- and started as a tiny, rural village centered around John Tennally's tavern, centuries before the Dancing Crab restaurant was established and years before the area was chosen as part of the nation's capital.

    "This neighborhood is a vital piece of the history of D.C., and its past and present continue to shape life here," said Cultural Tourism D.C.'s Executive Director Linda Harper.

    Today, Cultural Tourism D.C. joined neighborhood residents for the official unveiling of "Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail," the city's eleventh neighborhood trail and the first to be established in Ward 3.  The ceremony took place at Fort Reno Bandstand, the site where Union soldiers once camped to protect the nation's capital from Confederate invasion.

    Fort Reno is one of nineteen sites -- specifically, number five on the trail -- on this self-guided, walking tour.  Those interested in taking the tour can start at any one of the nineteen locations.  Trail guides are available in both English and Spanish from merchants and institutions along the way as well as at

    While representatives of Cultural Tourism D.C. hope the heritage trails will encourage visitors to our nation's capital to explore the city beyond the Mall, they also encourage locals to give them a try.

    "When you live in a community, and you have your everyday life, you might take your neighborhood for granted.  You might even think you really know your neighborhood," Jane Freundel Levey, Cultural Tourism D.C.'s Director of Heritage Programs told me.  "But take a walk in your neighborhood, follow one of our heritage trails, and find out what you don't know about your community.  We encourage residents to take their families -- and friends -- on these trails, and we hope they really enjoy them."

    Befitting the neighborhood's historic association with the media (you can learn more about that history at "Top of the Town" heritage trail site eighteen), NBC 4 reporter Chris Gordon and WAMU's Metro Connection producer Rebecca Sheir hosted the unveiling ceremony.

    "What we've seen here today is civic activism, neighborhood participation, and it's really wonderful," Mr. Gordon said.

    Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh also spoke at the ceremony.  More than an estimated 100 residents attended, including several families who have lived in the neighborhood for five or six generations.  Carolyn Long, Chair of the Tenleytown Heritage Trail Working Group, gave a history of the community, and several speakers reflected how the neighborhood has changed over the years.

    "President Lincoln visited the camp at Fort Reno," Alexa Viets, a Program Manager with the National Park Service's Civil War Defenses of Washington, told the assembled crowd.  "In fact, he made several visits to the camp -- usually during election years.  See, some things never change!"

    You can find a tour map and learn more about the "Top of the Town: Tenleytown Heritage Trail" here.

    UDC Farmers' Market Ends Its 2010 Season

    Today, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) hosted its last farmers' market scheduled for 2010.

    "It was a marvelous season, and I look forward to this continuing next year," market organizer Dr. Gloria S. Wyche-Moore said. "I want to thank the community for embracing us, and hopefully our patrons will continue to support us."

    The farmers' market is scheduled to reopen in late April or early May, depending upon when next season's produce is ready for sale.  The market is a partnership between UDC's College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences and the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association.  In 2010, seven  Hispanic farmers sold their produce at the market.

    In addition, other vendors sold beef, chicken and spinach empanadas, breads, cupcakes, muffins and other pastries, and an assortment of homemade jams and jellies.

    Robin Johnson's red onion marmalade, hot pepper jelly, and fig jam have become popular items at the market.  Ms. Johnson began selling her jams and jellies a year ago after she received encouragement from her friends, many of whom had asked her informally to cater functions at their homes.

    "I never planned on making food for a living, but I loved to cook, and more importantly I loved to eat. I hope that is reflected in what I make," Ms. Johnson said.

    If you are a vendor looking to participate in the market, please contact Percy Williams or Rosalind Parker at (202) 255-3630.  

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Honoring America's Veterans

    Today, Americans honor those who have served in our armed forces.  Washingtonians can participate in ceremonies throughout the area.

    Arlington National Cemetery holds a National Veterans Day Observance at the Memorial Amphitheaters at 11:00 a.m., and a Veterans Service Organizations wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at 12:00 p.m.  You can find more information here.

    The annual Veterans Day Observance at The Wall takes place at 1:00 p.m. and recognizes Americans who served in the Vietnam War.

    There will be a special program paying tribute to Americans who served in World War II at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall at 5:00 p.m.  You can obtain additional information about the program from Paul O'Brian at 202-438-7066 or on the National Park Service website.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    'Washington: Portrait of a City' Exhibition Opens November 9

    The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) will host an exhibition of Steve Gottlieb's photographs from his book Washington: Portrait of a City from November 9 through December 17.

    The exhibition opening will begin with a reception, gallery lecture, silent auction and book signing on Tuesday, November 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Building 41, Level A.

    More information is available from Susan Bodiker at (202) 274-5953.

    Community Meeting Addresses UDC Campus Growth

    Tonight, more than 40 University of the District of Columbia (UDC) representatives and community stakeholders participated in an open house to discuss the school's future growth.

    "We want this to be the community's university," UDC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Graeme Baxter said.

    The university is in the process of drafting its first master plan, which university officials expect will be completed by Spring 2011. While the university is looking at the development of the broader campus map, the immediate process is being driven by plans to construct a student center starting in Fall 2011. The university is evaluating where the student center will be located on campus and is considering community input alongside city government recommendations and requirements.

    "We want to truly understand what the community's interests are, because they can contribute to campus life and vice versa," said Doug McCoach, an architect and developer who led the open house meeting and is currently working on UDC’s first master plan.

    Tonight's meeting sought neighborhood residents' input on community participation, campus growth, campus character, sustainability, and transportation issues. Area residents urged greater communication between the university and the community -- such as installing a marque or electronic signage near the university's entrance to advertise school events -- and sought increased access to the university's library, meeting spaces, and athletic facilities. More than one resident encouraged the university to continue its weekly farmers' market.

    Community members also advocated for any growth plans to maximize pedestrian safety by limiting the need for students and faculty to cross Connecticut Avenue and encouraged the university to adopt LEED gold or platinum standards rather than silver, which is currently required by law.

    Residents voiced some concerns over costs associated with the university's growth. Provost Baxter responded that the proposed student center is already funded, and the university is also required by law to balance its budget each year.

    Several residents also expressed a desire for more concrete information on development plans from the university. Residents asked for more details on the proposed design of the student center as well as additional information on student housing. In addition to the student center, UDC is also considering construction of an on-campus residence with 400 units.

    UDC will hold its next community meeting in the Campus Auditorium, Building 46 East, on Wednesday, December 8. In the meantime, area residents can offer their feedback to Steve McKenzie at 202-274-5624 or Thomas Redmond at 202-274-5622.

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    UDC To Hold Second Public Meeting on Campus Master Plan

    UDC Van Ness Campus
    The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) will hold its second community meeting to discuss the school's campus master plan on Monday, November 8 at 6:00 p.m.

    The meeting will be held at the UDC Van Ness Campus in the Firebird Cafeteria in Building 38 on the B-level.  You can contact Steve McKenzie at 202-274-5624 or Thomas Redmond at 202-274-5622 for more information.

    You can find a copy of the UDC campus master plan presentation made during the October 19 community meeting here or read our blog posting about the meeting here.

    The District's Annual Leaf Collection Begins November 8

    Leaves blanket the ground in Rock Creek Park. (Photo courtesy of Warren Hindley)
    The D.C. Department of Public Works will collect leaves from November 8, 2010 through January 15, 2011.  Residents can rake loose leaves into piles in the curbside treebox space -- not the street -- for collection.

    Every street will have at least two collections.  Bagged leaves will collected with trash, as space permits.  You can find more information and the city's leaf collection schedule here.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Daylight Savings Time Ends This Weekend

    Don't forget, daylight savings time ends this year on Sunday, November 7 at 2:00 a.m.  Set your clocks back an hour, and take the opportunity to check your smoke alarms.

    Don't have a smoke alarm?  The D.C. Fire and EMS Department offers D.C. homeowners one free smoke detector per household.  You can learn more information about the program here.

    As If You Needed an Excuse for Nachos...

    Cheese nachos at Cactus Cantina
    National Nachos Day is November 6.  Fortunately, for those looking to celebrate, there is no want for Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants walkable in the neighborhood.  And, while you really can't go wrong at any of the locations, our favorite is Cactus Cantina.  Why? After sampling the nachos at each of the restaurants, we ordered a second plate only at Cactus Cantina.

    Alero Cleveland Park
    3500 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20008

    Cactus Cantina
    3300 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20016

    4515 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20016

    Senor Pepper
    5507 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20015

    Our final recommendation: Round up a group of friends, go to the restaurant closest to you, and order a pitcher of margaritas with your nachos.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Key Elementary School Hosts Free E-Cycling Event

    Peggy Robin with All Life is Local reports that Key Elementary School will hold a free e-cycling event on Friday, November 5 beginning at 6:00 p.m. through  Saturday, November 6 at 12:15 p.m.

    Here's your chance to get rid of old TVs, batteries and other items that might be cluttering your apartment, basement, or basement apartment. You can find out more details here.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Election Day 2010: ANC 3F Results

    UPDATED: Only one race was contested in ANC 3F.  As of Wednesday, November 3 at 12:56 a.m., the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has released the following unofficial election night results:

    ANC 3F01
    Adam Tope 50.49%
    Michael Siegel 47.56%
    Write-In 1.95%

    ANC 3F02
    Karen Lee Perry 97.24%
    Write-In 2.76%

    ANC 3F03
    Karen Beiley 95.54%
    Write-In 4.46%

    ANC 3F04
    Tom Whitley 94.05%
    Write-In 5.95%

    ANC 3F05
    Roman Jankowski 94.14%
    Write-In 5.86%

    ANC 3F06
    Cathy Wiss 94.04%
    Write-In 5.96%

    ANC 3F07
    Bob Summersgill 96.88%
    Write-In 3.12%

    We'll update the results as more information is released.  In the meantime, you can follow all D.C. election results here.

    Election Day 2010: ANC 3E Results

    UPDATED: The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has begun to announce today's election results.  As of Wednesday, November 3 at 12:56 a.m., the Board has released the following unofficial election night numbers:

    ANC 3E01
    Beverly Sklover 57.82%
    Jonathan McHughes 41.86%
    Write-In 0.32%

    ANC 3E02
    Matthew Frumin 95.41%
    Write-In 4.59%

    ANC 3E03
    Jonathan Bender 93.08%
    Write-In 6.92%

    ANC 3E04
    Sally Greenberg 43.49%
    Tom Quinn 54.98%
    Write-In 1.53%

    ANC 3E05
    Sam Serebin 89.92%
    Write-In 10.08%

    We'll update the results as more information is released.  In the meantime, you can follow all D.C. election results here.

    ANC 3F Candidates Campaign on Election Day 2010

    Candidates' signs line the sidewalk outside Murch Elementary School on November 2, 2010.
    Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3F01 candidates Mike Siegel and Adam Tope were campaigning early this morning near Murch Elementary School, Precinct 33 in Ward 3.

    Siegel is a public and environmental finance consultant and member of the School Modernization Committee.  Tope is an associate with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where he practices corporate and securities law, and volunteers as a Metropolitan Police Department block captain.

    Siegel sees development and traffic as two key issues in the community, and would like to advance parent and community involvement in school modernization planning and coordination between area ANCs on areas of overlapping concern. If elected, Siegel will focus on walkable communities with a greater emphasis on alternative transit.

    Tope's priorities include public safety and ANC accessibility.  He promises an ANC website and email listserv within 30 days of election.  He would like to increase awareness of crime prevention and attract businesses to fill Connecticut Avenue storefronts.

    Both candidates say they will focus on increasing pedestrian safety in the neighborhood.  One issue either candidate might face once elected is bringing together the neighborhood's disparate interests.

    "You have a combination of large apartment buildings, single-family homes, businesses, schools, and development in this ANC," says ANC 3F03 candidate Karen Beiley, "and you have to make sure they all work together."

    Beiley, who is running uncontested, spent this morning introducing herself to voters near Murch Elementary School.  Supporters of mayoral candidate Vincent Gray and incumbent D.C. Council Member Mary Cheh were also on site, as well as two women urging a write-in campaign for Mayor Adrian Fenty.

    Several election volunteers at precinct 33 said the polling location was busy this morning.  They found this to be surprising given the fact that many races this year were determined during the primaries or were not contested.

    You can read more about the ANC 3F01 candidates in our interviews with Michael Siegel and Adam Tope.

    Interview: ANC 3F01 Candidate Michael Siegel

    Michael Siegel, a public and environmental finance consultant, is a 15-year resident of the neighborhood and currently running as a candidate for ANC 3F01.  This morning, he was campaigning near Murch Elementary School.

    School issues are a priority for Mr. Siegel, who is the parent of two DCPS students and an 11-year volunteer soccer coach.  He is also a member of the School Modernization Committee, which secured $1.5 billion in capital funds for modernization efforts.

    He is also focused on development and promoting walkable communities.

    "Traffic and development go hand in hand," Mr. Siegel said, "I'd like to see more attention to heavily crossed walks made safer for pedestrians, particularly during rush hours and school release times."

    When asked why he was running for election, Mr. Siegel said, "Two fine commissioners are retiring, and they have done a lot to put the ANC on the right track.  I decided it was my time to step forward and continue their work and progress."

    Jane Solomon is one of the commissioners who is retiring.  She has served as ANC 3F's Vice Chair and Treasurer.  She said, "Mike's background is a huge asset.  He's been active in this neighborhood for a long time.  I'm concerned that the other candidate, Adam Tope, has no track record in our community."

    Retiring ANC 3F01 Commissioner Susan Banta also endorsed Mr. Siegel.

    You can read an interview with ANC 3F01 candidate Adam Tope here.

    Election Day 2010: Polls Open in the District

    Voters walk near entrance to Murch Elementary School, Precinct 33, on November 2, 2010.
    Today is Election Day, and D.C. residents might be wondering why they should bother to drag themselves to their polling places on a chilly morning.  Aside from civic duty, Josh Korr gives six good reasons to vote today in the District.

    Don't know where to find your voting location? helps you find your polling place.  Precinct locations are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. today.  Ward 3 residents can find a sample ballot here.

    Interview: ANC 3E04 Candidate Sally Greenberg

    Sally Greenberg is currently running to serve as ANC 3E04 Commissioner.  She has lived in the neighborhood for about 13 years and serves as the Executive Director of the National Consumers League.

    Greenberg says the skills it takes to run a consumers' organization are similar to those one would need to serve as a neighborhood representative.

    "The ANC raises issues with officials, and makes sure the voice of the community is being heard," Greenberg says.

    Greenberg says the most pressing issues for the neighborhood include pedestrian safety and development.

    "Growth, building and development should take into consideration the needs of the residents of the neighborhood," Greenberg says.

    She also says that ANC representatives must listen to different perspectives and seek a spirit of compromise to reconcile the community's various needs, such as addressing competing interests -- whether they be dog-owners or baseball teams -- over the use of recreational facilities in the neighborhood.

    "I have a connection to the community, a strong connection to the community," Greenberg says, "Serving on the ANC is something you can do to give back to your community.  I think it is part of civic responsibility, and I feel good about having my name on the ballot."

    Interview: ANC 3E04 Candidate Tom Quinn

    ANC 3E04 Candidate Tom Quinn stands near the CVS in Tenleytown.
    Tom Quinn is currently running to serve as ANC 3E04 Commissioner.  He is an eight year resident of the neighborhood and previously worked for 15 years as an assistant manager at National Geographic.

    Quinn recently gave this blog an interview, during which he addressed why he was running for the ANC and spoke about local development issues.  Quinn says the ANC is an important forum for neighborhood issues to be discussed.  He says this function allows the ANC to press for better outcomes, whether that be a change in trash collection and snow removal or an improved tree-trimming policy along city streets.

    "A lot of people might be frustrated with the quality of city services.  The ANC is the conduit to voice those concerns, and look for solutions, and to get people working on the issue," Quinn says.

    Quinn was particularly energized when discussing development issues along Wisconsin Avenue.  In August, Quinn and other residents joined mayoral candidate Vincent Gray for a walk along the Wisconsin corridor from Tenleytown to Friendship Heights.  Quinn says the walk was an important opportunity to address the future of the neighborhood and described Gray's knowledge of zoning issues as "encyclopedic."

    "Smart development is a means to finding solutions, it's not part of the problem," Quinn says. "For example, there is a great deal of value in vertical real estate, and we must leverage it for good purposes.  Some of the profits should be rolled back into local benefits.  Affordable housing and green building requirements have been codified locally, and that is a good thing."

    Quinn says development is also a means to address parking, traffic and other related issues.  He feels that the community should look at how metered parking spaces are currently used and whether or not a change in policy -- only free parking for residents -- might cut down on traffic congestion.  He says any parking solution must match supply and demand and benefit both residents and businesses.

    Summarizing his approach to community development, Quinn says, "You've heard people say, 'think globally, act locally.' Well, we also have to think regionally, act locally."

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Interview: ANC 3E01 Commissioner Beverly Sklover

    Beverly Sklover currently serves as ANC 3E01 Commissioner and is running for reelection this November.  She has lived in the American University Park neighborhood for almost 20 years and  substitutes as an art teacher at Janney Elementary School, where her children were once students.

    Sklover speaks with great pride about her children, and says that she wants to leave the neighborhood "better or as good for my children, and all the children in the community."

    "This is a wonderful neighborhood, where people truly are neighbors to each other," Sklover says, "I can't imagine living anywhere else I would enjoy more."

    A Missouri native, Sklover worked for the New York City Department of Planning for six years before earning her law degree from Catholic University's Columbus School of Law.  Sklover says that she'll call upon these various experiences when addressing community issues.

    Sklover is particularly pleased that her ANC was able to work with WMATA to make sure that "bumpy tiles" (tiles that alert those with impaired vision where a metro station's platform ends) were installed at the Tenleytown Metro station years ahead of schedule.  She says it serves as one example of the important role the ANC can play in the community.

    Sklover says the community is fortunate that many of the issues the neighborhood faces are not "pressing in the greater scheme of things," but she cites aging-in-place, traffic and development as concerns she will continue to address as ANC Commissioner.

    Former ANC 3E Chair Amy McVey says, "Beverly's diligence, ethical and effective work habits have and will continue to be an asset to all in our community.  She demonstrates very creative problem-solving ideas and is able to energize a group of people like no one else."

    Politics and Prose's November Events Schedule

    Update: President Jimmy Carter will sign copies of his White House Diary at the bookstore on Tuesday, November 30.  More details are available here.

    Robert Dallek and John Feinstein are just two of the authors scheduled to address readers at local bookstore Politics and Prose, November 6 and November 16 respectively.  Salman Rushdie will address the store's patrons at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue on November 17.  You can find a complete calendar of the bookstore's events here.

    The bookstore will hold a memorial tribute to founder and co-owner Carla Cohen, who passed away on October 11.  The memorial will take place on November 21 at 1:00 p.m.  The bookstore will provide additional information as it becomes available.  Community members can share their memories and condolences here.