October 03, 2013 - 6:08 pm

Howard convening neighbors and students on conduct issues

Red Solo cups

Howard University is hosting a forum next week to discuss students’ off-campus conduct.  While most students are properly behaved and cause no problems, a few students have a penchant for raucous partying and sloppy trash disposal.  The meeting will be on Wednesday, October 9 at 6:30 pm at the Blackburn University Center‘s “Forum” (2397 6th Street NW – first floor to the left of the main entrance).

In addition to interested neighbors, the university has invited the Student Association leadership, campus police, the university’s community relations office, MPD, and university representatives who enforce the Student Code of Conduct.

In other news, Howard University President Sidney Ribeau announced that he will retire (a polite way to say resign) at the end of the calendar year.  During Mr. Ribeau’s five-year tenure, the university suffered declining enrollment and declining revenues.

Photo credit: “Red Solo cups” by TheKarenD on Flickr

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September 21, 2012 - 10:56 am

Flooding and Howard University’s communication plan

Gingerbread on the Cooper House

Flooding, student behavior, and Capital Bikeshare are on the agenda for Tuesday’s civic association meeting. The meeting will be on Tuesday, September 25 at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church.

Here’s the full agenda:

  • Howard University’s plan to address student behavior in off-campus housing
  • An updates from the Flooding Task Force
  • The new Capital Bikeshare station coming to LeDroit Park
  • Public Safety in our neighborhood: How to keep our streets safe and clean
  • Neighborhood events and activities

Everyone is encouraged to attend.

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August 22, 2012 - 10:46 am

Video from the mayor’s presser on recent flooding

The mayor’s news conference on the establishment of an anti-flooding task force drew a lot of media attention. All the local affiliates covered it:

Watch the videos below.
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August 21, 2012 - 7:31 am

Mayor Gray announces a task force to address area flooding

Post-flooding debris along the 100 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW

Later this morning, Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D – Ward 5), and representatives from DC Water and District agencies, will announce the creation of a task force to address the flooding that has occurred in numerous basements in LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale since July.

The mayor and councilmember will hold the press conference today at 11:30 am at the park at triangle park at First Street and Florida Avenue NW.

During several downpours in July, the overtaxed sewers below Florida Avenue in LeDroit Park and below several streets in Bloomingdale backed up into residents’ basements.

DC Water, the semi-independent agency that manages the drinking water and sewer infrastructure, says the completion of new diversion sewer tunnels in 2025 will solve the problem for good. Waiting 13 years is little consolation for residents whose basements have flooded with diluted sewage.

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August 19, 2012 - 9:45 am

A neighborhood listserv can be civil, too

Earlier last week a Howard student on the 400 block of Elm Street held a somewhat raucous party. Some neighbors voiced their displeasure on the neighborhood listserv. Normally this sort of event is not news, but the student’s apology on the listserv was notable:

It came to my attention that last night and possibly other nights this week, a student of Howard or I have disrupted this order of the 400 block of Elm. I would like to apologize to you for this. I did not anticipate so many people, however, I understand that it is still my responsibility. I am sending this email to assure you and the residence of Elm Street that this will not be a recurring problem, in fact, this will be the last time I cause this disturbance again. I do realize that this is a historic neighborhood and I never meant to disrespect you or any of the neighbors. This is your community, not mine. Once again I apologize and I would love to speak to you in person, maybe over lunch or coffee.

If anyone has any question, feel free to email me or if you would like to speak in person, email me and we can set up a time that works best.

Once again I apologize and I can assure you that my tenants and I will not cause this incident again

Thank you for your time
Langston W

The public apology is appreciated. However, the sentence “this is your community, not mine” was striking. A community belongs to the people who live there at that time, even residents who are also enrolled at the adjacent university.

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July 12, 2012 - 7:25 am

Video: Bloomingdalers upset about recurring flooding

Channel 4 has a short segment on Tuesday night’s flooding in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park. The Post also has a story describing the sewage-drenched nightmare that struck many residents’ basements.

DC Water, which is responsible for the water pipes and sewers, left the following note in the comments section of yesterday’s post on the flooding:


We’ve received a number of phone calls, tweets and email inquiries from Bloomingdale, LeDroit and Eckington customers who faced flooding last night. We’re so sorry to hear this has happened, and want to provide some background information as well as next steps.

The sewer system under this part of the District was installed generations ago by the federal government. At the time, populations were smaller, rains were likely lighter, and people weren’t commonly living in basements. The system was not designed to handle the volume it handles today. We inherited this system and are working to upgrade it, but this is not a fast, simple or inexpensive process.

We do clean every catch basin in the District once a year, and we come through flood-prone areas to do more cleaning every time a big storm is predicted. This one was not part of any weather forecast. The volume of rain in such a short period would overwhelm many catch basins as well.

The best short-term solution is a backflow preventer, which a licensed plumber can install. The long-term solution is enlarging the capacity of the sewer system, which will come as part of our Clean Rivers Project. It is a 20-year, $2.6 billion effort to build 13 miles of tunnels, which will capture stormwater and sewage and send them to our Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. The tunnel will start at Blue Plains and is under construction now. The last segment will make its way from RFK Stadium to Gallaudet University and will relieve the historic flooding problems in Bloomingdale, Eckington and Edgewood.

More details are here: http://www.dcwater.com/workzones/projects/anacostia_river_information_sheet.cfm. Customers with questions can feel free to email us at twitter@dcwater.com or call (202) 612-3400 anytime.

DC Water
Office of External Affairs

There are two things to glean from the comments section in yesterday’s post. One is that a number of Bloomingdale residents have said that flooding occurs in their basements more than once a year. Another is that DC Water’s solution, which includes the construction of an interceptor sewer tunnel, is years away.

DC Water will address residents on Monday, July 16 at 7 pm at St. George’s Episcopal Church at 2nd and U Streets NW.

July 11, 2012 - 12:41 am

Storm floods streets and basements of Bloomingdale

During torrential downpours the Bloomingdale neighborhood experiences flooding. Yesterday evening’s storm flooded numerous Bloomindale basements and the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue, T Street, and First Street NW.

The Boundary Stone restaurant (116 Rhode Island Avenue NW) posted a photo of a flooded Rhode Island Avenue NW.

Why did this section of the street flood? DC Water, which runs the water pipes, sewers, and storm drains, blames the lack of pipe capacity in Bloomingdale.

A closer look at the 1861 Boschke map of the District of Columbia reveals that the northern reaches of Tiber Creek flowed right through Bloomingdale. In fact the creek flowed right where Rhode Island Avenue flooded at T Street NW.

Boschke map with modern streets superimposed

Whether the creek still flows underground in this location is something I will leave to experts. However, creeks, like all water, flow to the lowest point on the land. The creek’s former presence at this location suggests that the terrain slopes downward on all sides, directing rainwater to this critical flood point.

Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D) was on the scene and DC Water has promised to brief him soon on their Bloomingdale flood solution, which they say is on the way. Though this degree of flooding is rare, Bloomingdale residents will surely welcome and demand a permanent fix.

May 27, 2012 - 4:26 pm

Street closures for Chuck Brown’s viewing

Chuck Brown, the Godfather of Go-go, died on May 16. That night a crowd of fans celebrated his life and mourned his death in front of the Howard Theatre.

Brown’s viewing will be held at the Howard Theatre on Tuesday, May 29, from 11 am to 10 pm.  To accomodate the expected crown of mourners, DDOT will close several streets to private automobiles on Tuesday. T Street from 7th Street to Florida Avenue will close from 3 am to midnight. The following streets will close from 9:30 am to midnight:

  • T Street between 9th Street and Florida Avenue
  • 7th Street between Florida Avenue and S Street
  • 8th Street between Florida Avenue and S Street
  • Wiltberger Street between T Street and S Street

You may still walk or bike along these streets, but if you’re driving, it will be best to avoid the area.

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May 21, 2012 - 5:18 pm

Civic association elections, JBG development proposal tomorrow night

Tulip House

The LeDroit Park Civic Association will meet tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 22 at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church.

Tomorrow’s agenda includes the election of officers, an update on the JBG development for the 700 and 800 blocks of Florida Avenue, and a public safety update.

Please remember that only paid members may vote for officers or any civic association motion, so be sure to bring your $15 if you need renew your household’s membership.

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May 07, 2012 - 6:58 pm

Thousands of Bees Occupy a Porch on 3rd Street

WJLA reports that a swarm of 20,000 bees took over the front porch of a home on 3rd Street. An exterminator tried to get ride of the colony, but the bees are back.

The bees have displaced the house’s residents, so the prospect of free honey is insufficient consolation.

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