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It does seem that with summer heating up, so is activity within our local community. Every day brings more news about movies being shot in our midst; about the return (we hope) of Fresh Fields; about the impending unveiling of the new memorial to the Colored troops of the Civil War. Our small part of the District is not only hip...it's happenin.
With all the really big activities taking center stage, its easy to overlook some of the smaller things going on, some of those things which made the neighborhood special to those of us in it, even before talk of Hollywood stars and organic groceries. With the spotlight on the bigger developments, it is entirely possible to forget the smaller things which many of us appreciated about our home turf, even before the outside deigned to grace us with its own appreciation. From time to time, though, there are definite reminders of what many see as the great value not only of the area's buildings and commerce, but also its greatest asset the people working to make the community work.
One of the most recent reminders for me came in the form of a comment made by two of the participants in Chuck Baxters 20 June Graffiti Paint-Out session. This couple, residents of an area six blocks outside the CSNA boundaries, mentioned that they gladly had come out at 8:30 on a Saturday morning to paint out graffiti in a neighborhood not their own. The reason? They had heard that this is a community which does things, and doesnt just talk about them! Certainly their willingness to help says a lot of good about them, and their comment says a lot of good about those folks who keep pushing to make it happen in our corner of the city. So, thanks to you, Nick and Marie! Thanks to you, Chuck! And thanks to all the rest of you who keep on keeping on!
Minutes of May 14 Meeting
Chuck Baxter called for volunteers in the graffiti abatement program that he coordinates.
Treasurers Report; CSNA has $1,300 in the account.
Old Business: Members with any ideas or inclusions into the top ten wish list to be presented to City Manager Camille Barnett should get them to Paul Robertson asap.
FCF presented CSNA with several award/photo plaques in recognition of an outstanding job with this years clean-up on the U Street corridor. Several students from Cardozo HS introduced themselves and discussed with the community their plans for the future, which includes scholarship money received as part of this program.
Paul Williams briefed the members about the historic preservation committee effort to raise funds for the historic district application ($1,000). Several members wrote checks that evening (full list to be published next newsletter) and Paul asked Chuck to keep track of contributions in a separate CSNA accounting entry. He hoped to raise the necessary funds by the last week of May to submit the filing fee to the Historic Preservation District in concert with the Residential Action Coalition application that was submitted the first week of May, so that they would be heard together.
Flyers were to be distributed by Paul to those who volunteered to hand them out on their block by the next meeting. He has a master map and distribution list to follow, and asked again for volunteers to accomplish this task.
Police Report: No police were present to report on monthly crime.
Guest Speaker: Jim Graham, Candidate for District Council, Ward One.
Glenn Melcher, ANC 1-B representative announced that the ANC had a very positive meeting the previous evening. If anyone has concern over the orange liquor signs that are posted for new and renewal licenses, please contact him (both positive and negative) at 307-1099.
Joan Heckscher was not present to speak as scheduled.
Paul Williams had been requested by Clarke to clarify his relationship with Delores Johnson and or/JJ Development. Williams reported no affiliations with Johnson or the project on the old Thompsons Dairy Site, and repeated that he had, in 1996, written the history of the True Reformer Building, commissioned by JJ Development from August to November of that year; the report is on file in public archives of the DC library system. He has not worked for them in any capacity since.
Discussion ensued between Delores Johnson and Buck Clarke about the Lincoln Condominiums project. Discussion revolved around CSNA letters about the project to city agencies and other entities over the last 6 months.
Discussion also ensued between James Packard and Buck Clarke with regard to U Street development and Police CSNA letters over the past 6 months. Packard requested a copy of the CSNA by-laws, which Clarke promised to assist in locating in the multitude of CSNA files.
The meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.
Minutes of June 11 Meeting
Donatelli & Klein (301 -654-0700) were supposed to present an update on the old Children's Hospital site but postponed until the July 9 meeting in order to offer more concrete information on recent developments.
Todd Mosley, candidate for Ward 1 Council (6673223), spoke of his ideas on youth development and strengthening UDC in order to spark economic development. Mr. Mosley is the creator of the Thumbs Up youth group and is currently the chair of the Adams Morgan ANC.
Paul Williams, Vice President of CSNA & chair of the Historic Preservation committee (462-6251), announced that the Historic District Application had been filed and that the filing fee was less that anticipated resulting in a surplus of approximately $500. What to do with this money has not yet been decided, those members that contributed are encouraged to call Paul to offer suggestions.
Chuck Baxter, Treasurer (232-7921) presented the following financial figures as of May 1:
He also announced the resurrection of the Graffiti Removal Day in which Chuck and volunteers paint out graffiti in the course a pre-selected Saturdays. He has all paints and materials and volunteers are encouraged to call--one morning's work can make a major difference. Selected dates are as follows: July 25, August 22, September 26, & October 17. Show up at 914 Westminster St. at 8:30 am.
Glenn Melcher of ANC lB (797-5704) is requesting input for the rezoning of the 1900 block of T Street from the current Residential status to the Commercial Arts Overlay. No action is currently being taken but feedback is requested for the ANC to make an informed decision.
CSNA member Kamal Jahanbein received a Community Hero Award from the students at Cardozo High School who participated in the 5th Annual U Street Clean-up. Over $11,000 was raised and 5 students from this immediate community received FCF scholarships for college (all will be attending in the fall).
Delores Johnson of AMB's Lincoln Condominiums announced that construction could start as early as September.
CSNA member Courtenay Dusenbury revealed a growing problem at 1210 U Street in which a vacant commercial property has been broken into and has become a haven for gang/youth activity. Trash has piled up in the rear and a fire had been set a few weeks prior.
Put Your Money Where Your House Is: An Occasional Column by Jim Gray
Try Before You Buy At...U Street Computers!
One of the more high tech new businesses in Shaw is U Street Computers, at 926 U Street, N.W. U Street Computers offers software, hardware, peripherals, upgrades, installations and other services, computer based training and the opportunity to try software packages before you buy them.
Kevin ONalty, the proprietor at U Street Computers, has been in business about two years offering products, services and prices that compete with the mega-computer stores you must drive beyond the Beltway to find. He has a surprising array of merchandise tucked neatly into a refurbished U Street store front.
One of the most challenging aspects of purchasing a computer or other technology is sifting through the many options available. U Street Computers pledges an honest, straight-forward approach to sales. Kevin said that he would rather refer a customer to the best place to buy a particular product, than sell the customer the wrong thing. If you are in the market for a new computer, or even for a software package, it will be worth your while to check with Kevin before you buy. When that inevitable question comes up that you cannot answer, or, heaven forbid, your computer has to be returned, wouldn't you rather go back to a store on U Street than endure the 40 minute drive to Potomac Mills?
Manna Making A Difference in Our Neighborhood
By now, many Cardozo-Shaw residents are aware of the stellar work done by our leading community development corporation, Manna, Inc. If not, you need go no further than Victory Way, the beautiful row of townhouses on the south side of S between 13th & 14th, or the spectacular Whitelaw Hotel at 13th & T. to see the work that Manna has done to help reclaim our neighborhood and provide affordable homeownership and rental housing to hardworking, long-time neighborhood residents.
For the last two years, each fall, Cardozo-Shaw residents have come together for a neighborhood social to recognize the contribution that Manna makes to our neighborhood. Last years event was at the 9:30 Club and was a great success, both in raising money and awareness. At $10 a head, the tickets were a bargain, particularly for the dozen attendees who walked away with very nice raffle gifts. This dont miss event will take place again this October. Theres a good bit to be done to organize it. Anyone who has even a few minutes to spare for this worthwhile cause should call Jim Gray at 667-6186 to get involved.
Paul Williams reports in the latest issue of the lnTowner that Developer Marvin Jower intends to proceed with plans to renovate the building at 1330 U Street. Members interested in working to ensure the historic character of the building are encouraged to attend this month's CSNA meeting, where Williams will provide an update on recent events related to the building.
Have you ever thought it would be great if you could send a wish-list of neighborhood fix-up projects to the D.C. government and the projects were actually completed? Well, here is your chance (or so we hope!).
CSNA is asking residents to nominate up to three small-to-medium size projects in the neighborhood that they wish the D.C. government would complete such as: paving an alley, fixing a traffic light, cleaning a junk-filled lot, providing trash cans on a few specific corners, etc. At the May meeting of CSNA, we will review and discuss the nominations, and vote to pick the top five projects to be submitted as CSNA's "Wish List." The list will then be submitted directly to Ms. Camille Cates Barnett, D.C.'s new top administrator. This idea was suggested publicly to Ms. Barnett, by a CSNA member at the February 12th CSNA meeting. Both CSNA members and Ms. Barnett liked the idea, and Ms. Barnett seemed to indicate that the city would try to live up to its part of the deal.
If you want to nominate up to three projects, describe them separately on the form on the linked page (be specific and include addresses). Also, you may want to explain the importance of each project as it relates to your community or the city at large. Please submit to Paul Robertson at this months meeting, or mail to him at 1348 Wallach Place, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Won't it be great if at least some of our wishes come true?!
Nominate projects in order of importance to you with #1 being most important.
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