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D.C. Man Dies After Being Found Off Benning Road NE

18th Street NE crime scene (Photo by Tom Yeatman)

By Alan Henney

(Updated at 10:45 a.m. Sunday) Police are investigating a homicide after a Northeast D.C. man was found injured late last night (Friday) in Rosedale.

A pedestrian flagged down police about 11:50 p.m. after seeing a bloody, unconscious man in an alley near the southeast corner of 18th Street and Benning Road NE, police said.

Fire and EMS personnel found Jamie Washington, 31, in cardiac arrest. He was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to a police source.

Initial reports suggested Washington had been shot. But a source familiar with the investigation said he suffered a fatal cut to the left side of his chest.

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons wanted for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.

Photo by Tom Yeatman


Millennials Are Shaking Up the Local Real Estate Market

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This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a D.C.-based property management company that specializes in managing condos, single-family homes and multi-family properties in the metro region. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

Millennials are flocking to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for its job opportunities, cultural attractions and vibrant neighborhoods.

The area is the nation’s third most popular city for the generation, according to a recent report on Niche.com. D.C.’s popularity among millennials has been influencing local housing trends, fueling high demand for rentals and a preference for walkable, urban neighborhoods over homes in far-flung suburbs.

Washington D.C. earned its top rank because of the percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds who make it home. The rankings also took into account quality of life, measured by factors such as diversity, income, housing costs, crime rates and younger residents’ views on the quality of amenities, including professional sports, shopping and nightlife.

Only New York City and Austin ranked higher.

“The political epicenter of the United States draws young hopefuls with the promise of ambition and idealism and keeps them there with a solid job market and diverse cultural attractions,” the report said.

Amenity-rich District neighborhoods where millennials make up at least a third of residents include Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Cardozo-Shaw (U Street) and Logan Circle- Shaw. And many of the neighborhoods in and around Capitol Hill aren’t far behind, with millennials making up around 30 percent of residents.

Millennials want to live in walkable urban centers with good public transportation and nearby shopping, restaurants and offices, according to the 2014 Nielsen Co. report “Millennials: Breaking the Myths.” Two-thirds of the generation rent their homes, it said.

That’s good news for owners of rental properties and those considering investing. Local market experts expect the demand for rentals in great neighborhoods to continue as millennials move out of their parents’ homes and wait longer than prior generations to marry and have families.

“They prefer to live in dense, diverse urban villages where social interaction is just outside their front doors,” the Nielsen report said. “The ‘American Dream’ is transitioning from the white picket fence in the suburbs to the historic brownstone stoop in the heart of the city.”

Nielsen ranked the D.C. metro area sixth nationwide among cities with the highest concentration of residents born between 1977 and 1995, which is how it defined the millennial generation. The District is the only city east of the Mississippi in the top 10, and it has the highest concentration of what Nielsen dubbed wealthy millennials – those earning more than $100,000 a year.

The Niche study named the Clarendon/Courthouse neighborhood in Arlington, with its variety of coffee shops, bars and restaurants, the top D.C.-area neighborhood for millennials, who make up 53 percent of the population there.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HillNow.com.


Eastern Market Tree to Be Lit Tomorrow

Eastern Market Tree (Photo via Capitol Hill Business Improvement District)The National Christmas Tree won’t be lit until Tuesday, but a tree a little further east will boost the holiday spirit sooner.

The 27-foot evergreen tree near the Eastern Market Metro station will be lit Saturday evening, according to the Capitol Hill Business Improvement District.

The BID will host a night of carols, doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate starting at 5:30 p.m. at 8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and City Councilman Tommy Wells are expected to attend, the BID’s website says.

The carols will be led by the Maryland based “professional carolers” group Joyous Voices and the Washington Youth Choir.

The tree is named “Big George,” in honor of the BID’s founding president, George Didden III.

Photo via Capitol Hill Business Improvement District

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Hill Mom Collecting Pajamas for Foster Children

Pajama drive (Photo courtesy of Kathy Jackson)

To Kathy Jackson, the woman behind the DC Holiday Pajama Drive, pajamas are more than clothing. They signify comfort.

When she began to foster the three brothers who are now her sons, Jackson discovered that the boys had never owned new sleepwear. Pajamas were among the first things she gave them.

In 2010, pajamas acquired special meaning in Jackson’s life again — her friends delivered them to her hospital bed as she fought leukemia.

The Hill mom, 51, thought of both memories in 2011 as she wracked her brain for a way to spend the holiday with her sons, now 10, 11 and 14 years old. Pajamas gave her family a sense of security, and she hoped they could do the same for others. With that, the pajama drive was born.

From now through the end of December, Jackson is accepting donations of pajamas for babies, children and teenagers in the foster care system. Pajamas can be shipped to The Daily Rider Bike Shop at 1108 H St. NE, or donors can visit the drive’s Facebook page for information about other dropoff points, as it becomes available this month.

“It has become our Christmas tradition,” Jackson said.

The sleepwear will be given to the the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency, which has 2,800 children in foster care now, Communications Director Mindy Good said. Most of the pajamas will then go to the agency’s Children’s Donation Center, where children and families in need can pick up free necessities, and children can pick their own pajamas. Some of the clothes will be delivered through social workers.

Pajamas were scarce at the Donation Center prior to the creation of the Pajama Drive, according to Beatrice Williar, program manager for the agency’s Partners for Kids in Care. They focused, instead, on providing toiletries and blankets.

“Pajamas are something so many of us are accustomed to, so you don’t think about when other people don’t have it,” Williar said. “It makes perfect sense to provide them. [Jackson] really has come up with an innovation.”

Jackson originally planned for the one-woman drive to take place only once. In 2011, she wrote on Facebook about a goal to deliver 200 sets to CFSA. Within no time, people had given her 350 sets.

The following year, she decided to seek donations again, with a goal of 350 pajama sets — and received more than 600.

In 2013, Jackson chose to make the drive an annual tradition and bumped her goal up to 1,000 pajamas. By the end of December, she had gathered 1,500 sets, sent from across the United States and abroad.

This year, her goal is to collect at least 1,000.

The donation drive helps Jackson remind her sons of their history, and helped them give back to the system that helped create her family, she said.

“[My sons] are all amazing and resilient and strong, and I tell people they’re probably the reason that I’m alive,” she said. “They showed me what fighting and surviving is all about.”

Photo courtesy of Kathy Jackson


Morning Rundown

Pennsylvania Avenue

Intruder in a House Office Building — A Pennsylvania man was charged with unlawful entry after police reportedly found him asleep in a committee room of the Cannon House Office Building. [Washington Post]

Beer and Sausage Bar in the Navy Yard — The 20 M St. SE bar and restaurant The Big Stick could open as early as the beginning of January. [Eater]

Boy Scout Coat Drive — Capitol Hill Troop 500 will collect coats for the homeless tomorrow (Saturday) and Dec. 6 at Eastern Market, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Hill Rag]

Shop Local on Small Business Saturday — The Hill Is Home has ideas on where to spend Small Business Saturday: the kids’ art space Little Loft, Labyrinth Games and Capitol Hill Books. [The Hill Is Home]


Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving table (Photo via Flickr/inafrenzy)Hill Now is closed to observe the holiday. We hope you’ll enjoy your time at the table and with your loved ones.

All D.C. government offices are closed today. Parking meters are not in effect, and residential parking rules will not be enforced. Trash and recycling collection will be pushed to the following day. Recreation centers will close at 6 p.m.

Metro trains and buses will run on a Sunday schedule, with off-peak fares all day and free parking in Metro-operated facilities.

Photo via Flickr/inafrenzy


3 Ways to Spend Thanksgiving on the Capitol Riverfront

Thanksgiving Cruise (Photo via Spirit Cruises)

Not up to cooking for Thanksgiving? You have several alternatives along the southeast and southwest waterfront — including dining aboard a boat.

An annual Thanksgiving lunch cruise will depart from 6th and Water streets SW at 12 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday). A buffet menu of roasted turkey, brown sugar-roasted pork tenderloin and butternut squash will be served by Spirit Cruises

“We try to recreate a typical Thanksgiving meal,” representative Ryan Meadors said.

The cruise that ends about 2 p.m. is currently at three-quarters capacity, Meadors said. Tickets cost $54.90 for adults and $32.95 for children.

For those who prefer to stay on land, the 1101 4th St. SW restaurant Station 4 will host a prix-fixe Thanksgiving meal from 2 to 11 p.m. The menu includes turkey and pumpkin pie, plus atlantic salmon and turkey meatballs. The meal costs $38 per person.

For a more casual — and more football-oriented experience — Willie’s Brew & Que is one of the few local restaurants that will be open for normal hours. Co-owner and chef Rahman “Rock” Harper said the restaurant’s 14 TV screens will be tuned to football.

“This will be a great option for people who want to escape the Thanksgiving madness,” he said. Located at 300 Tingey St. SE, Willie’s will be open from 11 to 2 a.m.

Photo via Spirit Cruises


Hill Pet of the Week: Jake

Metro Mutts

Our Hill Pet of the Week is Jake, an 11-year-old miniature dachshund who gets around using a two-wheels cart under his hind legs after they were paralyzed. Here’s what his owner, Lily, told us about him:

Jake is a miniature dachshund who was born wearing his own tuxedo. Less sophisticated types might refer to him as a “black and tan.” He’s most famous/infamous for being probably the loudest dog on Capitol Hill. He’s 12 pounds of pure energy, despite being 11 years old with special needs. Knowing that with great charm comes great responsibility, Jake has worked hard at being lovable toward many people.

He just doesn’t have a whole lot of love to share with other dogs, people on bikes or joggers. It’s nothing personal, he just hates things faster than him. Eight years ago, he was living a normal life, running on all fours, barking like a banshee on fire in backyards. Then, one day, he stopped moving and was clearly in great pain. We rushed to the doc, who said he had intervertebral disc disease.

In other words, though we tried to discourage it, years of hopping and jumping around had contributed to the deterioration of Jake’s spine. After surgery, he lost feeling in his hind legs and has used a dog cart for walks outside ever since. These days, we walk almost daily, making stops for adoring fans and folks with questions. He’s an inspiration to stay active no matter what, and that — with the right attitude — formal wear can be everyday attire.

Want your pet to be considered for Hill Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least three horizontal photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a gift bag of dog or cat treats from Metro Mutts, along with 100 Metro Mutts Reward Points.

Known for “What dogs and cats want. What owners need,” Metro Mutts specializes in products and services for passionate pet owners. Now offering individualized dog walking, pet sitting and cat care from two store locations on Capitol Hill, on Barracks Row and on H Street NE. Learn more at www.metromuttsdc.com.


Hypothermia Response Team Seeking Volunteers

Homeless outreach (Photo courtesy of Capitol Hill Group Ministry)

(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) You can train to help homeless people survive the winter.

The Capitol Hill Group Ministry has created a hypothermia emergency response team and is seeking volunteers.

Since the beginning of November, the Seward Square-based nonprofit has sent pairs of helpers onto streets citywide to reach out to homeless people in the cold.

Volunteers are trained to recognize signs of hypothermia like shivering, slurred speech and blue-gray skin, and taught tips on engaging with homeless people, said Whitney Parnell, CHMG’s community engagement manager.

“The purpose for them isn’t to be superheroes, but to recognize when someone needs help,” she said.

Since November, the official start of hypothermia season, the group has sent volunteers out six times. In some cases, the volunteers have called the city’s emergency hotline to get people into shelters for the night. For people who don’t want shelter, volunteers hand out blankets, hot chocolate and other supplies.

CHGM staffers got the idea for the response team last winter, Parnell said. The multi-faith group that aids people with low incomes received several calls from concerned locals about how to help the homeless they saw. CHGM worked with homeless people during the day but didn’t have staff who could go out at night, when need was highest.

Nine homeless people died of hypothermia last year, Parnell estimated.

The group has hosted two formal training sessions so far, resulting in 22 people from all over the Washington, D.C., metro area being on call to help on hypothermia alert nights. These nights are declared when temperatures fall below 32 degrees with wind chill. New volunteers will go through one-on-one training sessions and shadow current volunteers. Those interested in volunteering can reach Parnell at 202-544-0631 or [email protected]

“Everybody has a right to shelter, especially when it’s 32 degrees or below,” she said.

If you see a homeless person who appears to need help on a cold night, email the United Planning Organization at [email protected], call the shelter hotline at 1-800-535-7252 or call 311.

Photo courtesy of Capitol Hill Group Ministry


Less Than an Inch of Snow Now Expected on the Hill

Snow stuck to windshields on Tingey Street SE near 3rd Street SE late Wednesday morning

The flakes have started falling on Ward 6, but don’t expect much.

The latest forecasts for Capitol Hill, the Navy Yard and nearby neighborhoods predict an inch or less of accumulated snow today (Wednesday), plus rain and strong winds.

The Hill is expected to get a mix of rain and snow today, with precipitation tapering off at about 8 p.m. and temperatures hitting a high of 44 degrees. Wind gusts could reach 24 mph. Temperatures will drop to a low of 33 tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Tomorrow, rain and snow are expected before 1 p.m. The Thanksgiving night low is 29 degrees.

More snow accumulation is expected north and west of the District, with more snow predicted for areas at higher altitudes.


Teens Attack Woman in Hill East Robbery Attempt

Police car light(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) At least three violent crimes occurred on Capitol Hill and in Hill East last night (Wednesday), including a shooting on 12th Street SE, an attempted robbery on A Street SE and a robbery on Tennessee Avenue NE.

A resident of the 1000 block of 12th Street SE answered a knock at the door about 7:30 p.m. and was shot multiple times, police said. The suspect is a black man about 25 years old who was last seen wearing a black jacket and black pants, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The second major crime of the night occurred about 8:15 p.m. on the 1800 block of A Street SE. A 25-year-old woman was walking when four teenage boys she did not know approached her and one punched her in the head, police said. The attacker tried to steal the victim’s purse but was unsuccessful.

The woman received non-life-threatening injuries and refused medical treatment at the scene, police said. The MPD is seeking four black males 16 or 17 years old who stand about 5-foot-9, have slim builds and were wearing dark jackets.

About half an hour later, a violent robbery occurred about 8:50 p.m. on the 100 block of Tennessee Avenue NE. Police are seeking four black males. Additional information was not immediately available.

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Morning Rundown

DC Water manhole cover

Ferguson Protests Hit H Street NW — People protesting the Missouri grand jury decision to not indict the officer who killed Michael Brown threatened to shut down the 1st and H streets NW Wal-Mart last night. [WTOP]

Barracks Row Restaurant Will Fry Your Turkey — The 515 Eighth St. SE restaurant Medium Rare will deep fry your Thanksgiving turkey from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. Chef Mark Bucher has tips on how to do it yourself, too. [FOX 5]

Lady Arm Wrestlers on H Street — A semifinalist in the women’s arm wrestling championship recently held at the Atlas Performing Arts Center explained why the contest is good for women and why her character’s name is Jackie O’Nasty. [Washingtonian]

D.C. United Stadium Bill Advances — Two D.C. Council committees approved bills on the D.C. United Stadium deal, as expected. The transfer of the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets NW is no longer included. [Washington Business Journal]

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Home-Buying Tips on Escalation Clauses

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This regularly scheduled, sponsored Q&A column is written by Tom Faison of ReMax Allegiance at Eastern Market. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. We put written offers on two homes after starting our search this summer. Each offer contained an escalation clause, and in both cases we discovered that the homes we bid on sold beneath the top price we were willing to pay, one by $20,000! At best, we feel like there was some sort of insider trading going on, and at worst that our offer wasn’t even shown to the seller. What are we missing?

A. Without knowing the details of your process, the first rule of the escalation clause comes to mind: you are only as good as your increment, but for anyone who may not be familiar with it, let me briefly explain what an escalation clause is and how it works.

An escalation clause allows you to start with an initial offering price and specify how much you are willing to pay above the next best offer. For example, you may start with an offer at a list price of $850,000, but specify that in the event of competing offers, you are willing to go up in increments of $5,000 above the next best offer, to the maximum you are willing to pay. In this case, based strictly on price, if you are highest, and the next best offer is $914,000, then the escalation clause would be triggered, and your offer would escalate to $919,000.

The process of using an escalation clause is similar to bidding on eBay, though I’ve yet to see a real estate closing that involved PayPal, and have rarely seen a competing bid accepted solely on price.

I believe strongly that the other terms of your offer, the four or five components that every seller should pay attention to in an offer, should not be overlooked or taken for granted. I routinely see sellers, advised honestly by their agents, accept a lower bid than what’s on the table, because of other terms that indicate how likely cash will be waiting on settlement day.

$20,000 is a big difference between a low winning and high losing bid for a seller to swallow, but I’ve seen bids accepted for as much as $35,000 lower than another based on terms.

If you think about it, results like these fly in the face of back room shenanigans, since those are most often money-driven. Most escalation clauses call for the seller to provide evidence of the price, the terms of the bid that triggered the clause and how it pushed the winning bid to its max. This should happen quickly in most clear-cut cases.

As for your offer potentially having been hidden from the owner, I’d say that while the bidding process in a seller’s market is rife with opportunities for people to act like people sometimes act, it’s important to understand what a listing agent stands to lose if caught acting unethically. I’ve met very few long-time, successful agents who are willing to risk that.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HillNow.com.


CrossFit DC Offering Thanksgiving Morning Workout

Photo via Facebook/CrossFit DCCrossFit DC wants you to do burpees, squats and pushups before you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner.

The high-intensity gym will offer special members-only Thanksgiving workouts at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at its 1365 H St. NE and 1722 14th St. NW locations.

The sessions are designed to let participants do more than work out, CrossFit DC co-owner Tom Brose said.

“People work hard to earn their pumpkin pie, but it’s more about getting together as a group and trying to be thankful for our community,” he said.

One Thanksgiving, CrossFit DC honored a gym member who was serving in Afghanistan with a “hero” workout of a mile-long run followed by 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats and another mile-long run. Last year, participants did a workout called Grace that combined 30 reps of lifting 135 lbs with the weight-lifting move “clean and jerk.”

This year’s Thanksgiving workout will be secret until it begins, but Brose said it will combine a normal session and a “hero” routine.

“This is going to be a pretty tough workout,” he said.

All of the routines can be adjusted to accommodate different ability levels, he added.

Photo via Facebook/CrossFit DC


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