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Presidents Message by Buck Clarke
No matter your political bent, if any, last Tuesday certainly must be viewed as a day of reckoning, even if not a great surprise after the September primaries. Love 'em or despise 'em, the fact is that we've got a lot of new faces in the district government, and a number of them will be in a position to make a direct and observable impact on our very own Cardozo-Shaw community. Now is the time, it would seem, to make our collective voice(s) heard, and push for changes we feel might benefit the community and the city.
The District is poised for a comeback, and every indication points to this area as being among the vanguard. In recent years Cardozo-Shaw has been making steady progress, even as most of the city has deteriorated. Our accomplishments in this regard have been generated from within, and for the most part have been achieved absent much in the way of government assistance. While the city as a whole has felt the deleterious effects of poor schools, crumbling roads and infrastructure, high crime, and population decline, our fair area has made significant advances in both the residential and business spheres. The entire U Street area has been on the way up; we've seen scores of houses, vacant or run down for decades, now rejuvenated and inhabited. Dozens of storefronts and other businesses have experienced a similar renaissance. This progress will continue unabated, perhaps even quicken, as word spreads that the Nation's Capital holds significant promise of becoming again a desirable place to live or to run a business. Hold on tight, the fun is just about to begin!
Historic Preservation by Paul Williams
The official record for comments on the Historic District application remains open until (gulp) Friday the 13th, with the Historic Preservation Review Board expected to approve the boundaries and district as submitted at the November 1 9th meeting. They met October 22 to discuss the justification of the boundaries in further detail, and offered an opportunity to oppose by anyone wishing to do so. There was no opposition. I am confidant, as is the Historic Preservation Division Staff, that the application will be approved next week; the end to an almost decade long effort that most of you assisted in one way or another along the way. Many thanks to all!
Paul presented the myths and misnomers of a historic district with the French Street Neighborhood Associated on November 10th; a repeat performance from about two years ago. They wanted to hear in further details what it means to reside and or work in a historic district.
Minutes of October 15 Meeting
Treasurer Chuck Baxter reported a balance of $1,001.81 as of October 1.
Vice-President and chair of Historic Preservation Committee Paul Williams (624-6241) reported that there were virtually no protests against our area's historic designation when it was presented to the Board of the D.C. Historical Society. Historic designation could pass as early as October 22 and be in effect one month later.
Paul Williams also reported on the Concerned Committee on Fast Food and its efforts to make sure that these franchise operations are "neighborhood sensitive" and are in compliance with D.C. regulations. The Papa Johns Pizza outlet will not locate at 1330 U Street and the committee will present any future findings on fast food chains to CSNA.
CSNA member Jennifer Dhore presented copies of citations and violations on the mechanic's garage on the lot at 14th & W Streets. Chronic infractions include operating at all hours and having more vehicles than the lot will allow. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to send a letter to DCRA to investigate the site and the nuisance business on it.
The Jackson family, representing 9 property owners on the 1900 block of 9th Street, asked for support or to take no action regarding rezoning of that block to C2A. The Jacksons stated that the Westminster Block Association voted to take no action while the ANC adopted a resolution to oppose any zoning change. ANC member Glen Melcher stated that the street has had some success as a residential area and that there is plenty of vacant commercial space around the corner on U street. The Jacksons made the point that the zoning punishes property owners on that block. A motion was made to oppose the zoning change, seconded, and failed. Another motion was made to consider the zoning change at the next meeting which was seconded and passed.
AMB project owner Delores Johnson announced that her project went to settlement on September 29 and that they broke ground the same day.
President Buck Clarke announced CSNA elections to be held at the December 10 meeting. A location for the accompanying CSNA Christmas party and silent auction must also be found as well as volunteers to help secure auction items. All those interested in donating items or assisting in the organization of the event are asked to contact Derek Kowalczyk at 202-265-8385 or to stop at Polly's anytime Saturday day.
Member Jay Murphy asked that the membership consider a move to eliminate the proliferation of vending machines and illegal vendors that are establishing themselves on U Street.
Donatelli & Klein and Linde Homes presented their plan for the former Children's Hospital Site. The design incorporates a total of 160 units built piggyback style that appear from the street as four story town homes. Homes would be built at an approximate rate of 2 at a time depending on sales and would range in price from $145,000 and up. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to endorse the Donatelli & Klein plan.
CSNA Web Site Updates
Webmaster David Hartley has been making lots of "behind the scenes" changes to his web server which will lay the groundwork for some major enhancements to the ustreet.com (CSNA) web site. He has a lot more disk space available now and can add more content at less cost. Hartley's plan is to update the photos of our area and revise some of the look and feel. He also hopes to encourage others in the group to take charge of occasional updates (e.g., calendar items, feature articles, etc.). He is working on a calendar program that will allow updates by anyone with the proper password to update it through a web page. We can give out the password to various members who have regular updates: one for CSNA meetings, one for block groups, one for security, etc. Go to http://www.ustreet.com/csna/ for updates!
NEWS AROUND U
Reliable, Inexpensive Auto Repair Near the Neighborhood an occasional column by Jim Gray
If you drive a fancy, late-model car, this column is not for you. If you are skittish about venturing east of Cardozo-Shaw neighborhood, this column is not for you.
But, if you have an older car and would like to know a reliable, inexpensive place to get it worked on near the neighborhood, read on. Lee's Auto Service is located in a gasoline station at 420 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, just south of Florida Avenue, near the Safeway that closed recently. The proprietor, Mr. Lee, is a genial Chinese American, who by all appearances, has been in the automobile repair business for some time. Mr. Lee is excellent at diagnosing car problems and works on most kinds of cars. He can almost always fix a car in the same day. I have taken my car to Mr. Lee now for about five years and have always left as a satisfied customer. Lee's Auto Service is conveniently located about 3 blocks from the Shaw Metro Station, 7th Street exit. Mr. Lee works from about 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and sometimes on Saturdays as well.
If you decide to pay a visit to Mr. Lee's, there are a couple of things you need to know before you go. First, Mr. Lee's operation is autonomous from the gas station where his business is housed. If you go when Mr. Lee is not there, the people who operate the gas station will not be of much help, beyond passing along a key and a note about what you ask Mr. Lee to do. On your first visit, l recommend that you speak to Mr. Lee in person, however, if that is not possible, you can leave a note and follow up by phone at 232-4097. Mr. Lee speaks with a heavy accent and is sometimes hard for me to understand, but he understands me perfectly well in written or spoken English. Finally, Mr. Lee primarily deals in cash. If you patronize him for sometime, you may be able to sweet talk him into taking a check; he is not set up to take credit cards.
Regular readers of this column know my strong preference for doing business with neighborhood-based business people over the slicker operators who line the beltway. By keeping our money in the neighborhood we help our neighbors, we build our commercial core and we ultimately help ourselves as home owners by increasing the property values. Mr. Lee is another high-quality neighborhood business person deserving your support.
Save Those Receipts!
U Street Computers is pleased to participate in Giant's Apples for the Students Plus Adopt-A-School Plan for the 1998/1999-program year. A collection envelope will be placed at 926 U Street NW for you to contribute your specially marked I 0th anniversary receipt tapes and pharmacy coupons.
Once a month we will collect and send them to Garnett-Patterson Elementary and Garrison Middle Schools our adopted schools. They will redeem them for Apple and IBM computers, software, science and math equipment, books, TVs, VCRs, sports equipment and much more.
The program runs from September 14,1998 through February 27, 1999. Submit the bottom portion of you receipt tape that states Apples for the Student Total. Please assist us in providing receipts for a great cause. Our goal is to collect $1 million in receipt tapes and pharmacy coupons.
If there are any questions, please direct them to Kevin O'Nalty at 202-234-7155.
Thank your for your support.
Fast Food Update
If you were at the latest CSNA meeting, you learned that the Concerned Committee on Fast Food, chaired by Emeka Egru of Erico Restaurant, was successful in its efforts to halt fast food pizza giant Papa John's from locating at 1330-32 U Street, a building once threatened with demolition. We will continue to work with the owner to provide other options for the building, including an interim paint job, as well as attempt to monitor other fast food restaurants with plans on coming into the neighborhood so we can be better prepared and plan for such businesses.
CSNA Welcomes New Prospective Member!
Congratulations to George and Courtenay Dusenbury on the arrival of their son, George Dusenbury, V, born October 8!
SAVE THE DATE!
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