40°Clear

by Andrea Swalec — January 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm 1 Comment

Snowflake (Photo via Flickr/mommamia)Tonight will be very cold, and we might get some snow Sunday.

The forecast calls for blustery winds up 39 mph tonight and a low of 24 degrees. We’ll get some sun during the day Saturday, but wind gusts still as high as 23 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

There’s a 50 percent chance of snow and rain on Sunday after 1 p.m., but it likely won’t be more than a dusting, the Capital Weather Gang says. The strong winds are expected to relent by then.

Photo via Flickr/mommamia

by Andrea Swalec — January 30, 2015 at 3:50 pm 0

Book sale (Photo via Facebook/Friends of the Northeast Library)You can score new books this weekend and help a local library at the same time.

A used book sale will be held tomorrow at the library one block east of Stanton Park. Friends of Northeast Library will hold the sale Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shoppers in three basement rooms of the 330 7th St. NE library can expect to find fiction, nonfiction, DVDs and children’s books at low prices.

The library booster group fundraises for improvements to the building and hosts book readings and signings.

by HillNow.com — January 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm 0

On Fridays, we take a moment to thank our sponsors and advertisers.

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by Andrea Swalec — January 30, 2015 at 2:25 pm 0

Capital Bikeshare stationHeads up, Capital Bikeshare users.

Some features of the bike-sharing service will be disrupted starting Tuesday night, as the operators update the system. The Capital Bikeshare software will be upgraded starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, officials announced. The work could last just 16 hours (until 11 a.m. Wednesday) or as long as 24 hours (until 7 p.m. Wednesday).

Here are the parts of service the operators expect will be affected:

Credit card rentals will not be available at Capital Bikeshare stations

Key-holding members (annual, monthly, daily key) will not be able to rent bikes from the same station more than once during the upgrade process. However, these members will still be able to rent bikes from one station and drop them off at the same or another station

New memberships or renewals will not be available on the Capital Bikeshare website (www.capitalbikeshare.com)

Updates on station and bike availability will not be generated for websites, maps and mobile apps (including Spotcycle)

The “time credit” feature will not be available at Capital Bikeshare stations

For more information, see the Capital BikeShare website. Any updates will be announced via their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

by Andrea Swalec — January 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm 0

Capitol Lounge (Photo via Facebook/Capitol Lounge)From free beer to a church chili party, Ward 6 residents have several spots close to home to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. Here are some places you can see the Seattle Seahawks defend their Super Bowl title against the New England Patriots:

Free Beer for Patriots Fans — Show the bartenders at Capitol Lounge (231 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) your Patriots gear and you’ll get free Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Cold Snap or Bud Light, and New England clam chowder. Doors open at 10 a.m.

Barbecue and Tequila — In Navy Yard, Willie’s Brew and Que (300 Tingey St. SE) will serve up pulled pork sliders, Old Bay chips and sriracha pimento dip. They’ll have Miller Lite buckets and pitchers for $16 each, and Milagro Tequila for $5.

Chili Party — A few blocks east, Capitol Hill United Methodist Church (421 Seward Square SE) will host its annual Super Bowl chili dinner. Chili and pizza will be served at 6 p.m. Sunday in the church’s Fellowship Hall. Attendees are asked to bring desserts and non-alcoholic drinks. RSVPs should be made by email.

Dollar Sandwiches — The Navy Yard location of the Spanish sandwich chain 100 Montaditos (300 Tingey St. SE) will have the game on its 60-inch televisions. They’ll offer all 100 small sandwiches for $1 each, $2 beer and sangria, and $3 premium beers and salads.

Cheap Beer and Wings for Patriots Fans — Near Union Station, Kelly’s Irish Times (14 F St. NW) will serve $4 Miller Lite, $5 Sam Adams and a game-day menu of wings, hotdogs and New England clam chowder.

Seahawks fans, we haven’t heard of anything in the neighborhood for you, but in Columbia Heights the restaurant Acre 121 (1400 Irving St. NW) will have drink specials and a jersey raffle.

Photo via Facebook/Capitol Lounge

by Andrea Swalec — January 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm 0

Police shared information on two crimes near the H Street Corridor.

A man was carjacked at gunpoint on the 1200 block of F Street NE yesterday morning, police said. The driver was sitting in his 2003 GMC Yukon about 11:45 a.m. Thursday when a man with a gun approached him. Two men forced him out of the SUV and then fled. The driver was not harmed, according to police.

The vehicle is burgundy and has Maryland plates, police said.

And the Metropolitan Police Department shared additional photos of a man suspected of fatally stabbing a man on 18th Street NE the day after Thanksgiving.

Jamie Washington, 31, died Nov. 28 after a pedestrian saw him bleeding in an alley near the southeast corner of 18th Street and Benning Road NE about 11:50 p.m., as Hill Now reported.

Andre Joyner, 24, is wanted for second-degree murder while armed.

Anyone with information on Joyner’s whereabouts 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. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

Photos by Tom Yeatman and via MPD

by Andrea Swalec — January 30, 2015 at 11:00 am 2 Comments

Carol Glover (Photo via GoFundMe)Relatives of the woman who died after being trapped on the smoky Metro train near L’Enfant Plaza have sued WMATA for $50 million.

The lawsuit filed today charges that Carol Glover, 61, died after the Jan. 12 accident because of negligence by Metro, documents published by WAMU show.

Metro failed to inspect and maintain equipment, properly train employees and follow emergency response protocols, the suit says.

Glover’s death robs her family of income, guidance and parental care, the suit states.

“As a further direct and proximate result of Defendant WMATA’s negligence, Ms. Glover’s estate lost the probable future earnings and other economic and non-economic damages recoverable under the applicable District of Columbia law.”

Lawyer Pat Regan argued that Metro should have been able to prevent the Alexandria resident’s death, he told NBC Washington.

“This was a situation where they should have been able to get people out of that train long before Carol Glover suffered an injury, never mind passed away,” Regan said.

Glover, a grandmother who attended Capitol Hill Baptist Church (525 A St. NE) died of acute respiratory failure due to smoke exposure, medical examiners determined. Dozens of other commuters were hospitalized.

Photo via GoFundMe

by Andrea Swalec — January 30, 2015 at 9:10 am 0

Hine School building

Sticky Fingers Spinoff Restaurant — The owner of the Columbia Heights vegan bakery Sticky Fingers will open a “diner-style” restaurant/bar/bakery at 4th and H streets NE called Fare Well. [Eater]

CSX Tunnel Gets First Permit — CSX Transportation received the first permit for the expansion of its freight tunnel beneath Virginia Avenue. The permit allows site-preparation work. [JDLand and Washington Business Journal]

Post-Industrial Chic in the ‘Union Market District’ — Developers are modeling a building at 3rd Street and Florida Avenue NE after the feel of New York’s Meatpacking District. The development will be called the Highline, after the elevated NYC park. [Washington Post]

A Tribute to Steve Cymrot — Capitol Hill philanthropist and Riverby Books owner Steve Cymrot was remembered by the American Historical Association for his devotion to community service. [American Historical Association]

by Andrea Swalec — January 29, 2015 at 5:20 pm 0

DPR Fun Day (Photo via Facebook/D.C. DPR_If your kids are off school Feb. 13 but you’re not off work, the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation has an option.

The parks department is hosting a “fun day” Friday, Feb. 13 when public schools are closed for a teacher professional development day, officials announced. The sessions for children age 6 to 12 will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at recreation centers across the District. The sessions are free but pre-registration online is required.

Here are the Fun Day sites in Ward 6:

  • Kennedy Recreation Center – 1401 7th St. NW (202) 671-4794
  • King Greenleaf Recreation Center – 201 N St. SW (202) 645-7454
  • Rosedale Community Center – 1701 Gales St. NE (202) 727-2591
  • Watkins Recreation Center – 420 12th St.. SE (202) 724-4468

Another fun day will be offered May 1, when school is cancelled for another professional development day. For the full 2014-2015 school calendar, see the DCPS website.

Photo via Facebook/D.C. DPR

by Andrea Swalec — January 29, 2015 at 3:55 pm 1,127 0

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Inside Uline Arena, artifacts of the building’s varied history abound. Old, orange stadium seats show where spectators watched concerts. Wooden panels used to convert the hall into a basketball court are stacked on the dirt-covered floor. And plumbing used to create an ice rink can be spotted through a hole.

All this is according to REI executives, who gave Hill Now a tour of the cavernous NoMa arena that offered glimpses of its history and of what the sporting goods store REI will build there.

REI will open a 51,000-square-foot store at M Street NE and Delaware Avenue NE that retains historic elements of Uline Arena, executives said this afternoon.

“We know how to be responsible with a building like this and not over-design but reveal elements that highlight the history of the space,” said Rachel Ligtenberg, a vice president for retail. REI has experience creating stores in other historic buildings, like inside New York’s Puck Building.

REI confirmed on Wednesday that they would move into the space completed in 1941.

The store — which will be REI’s first in Washington — will have 21-foot ceilings, with differences of elevation inside and separate “activity gear shops,” Ligtenberg said. To achieve the store’s height, workers will dig 5 feet down.

The entrance will be on M Street NE, and the western wall on Delaware Avenue NE will be lined with 16-foot-tall windows. The southwest corner of the building, with 25,000 square feet, will be rented to a separate retailer. The adjacent Ice House building will become a restaurant, Ligtenberg said. Closer to the vaulted ceiling will be three floors of office space.

REI began talking with Douglas Development, which owns the arena, 16 months ago, Ligtenberg said. The arena was the location of The Beatles’ first U.S. concert, the site of President Dwight Eisenhower’s inaugural ball and was then used as a sanitation garage and parking lot.

The store is slated to open in late 2016.

by Andrea Swalec — January 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm 4 Comments

Wylie Street Community Garden (Photo via Save Wylie Garden)A group of neighbors who fended off a plan last year to turn a community garden into a parking lot are now trying to raise money to buy the property.

Wylie Street Community Garden members are starting a nonprofit to raise funds to buy the lot from H Street Community Development Corporation, organizer Paige Bryne said.

“This is the last green space on the H Street corridor,” Bryne said about the vegetable and flower garden that’s operated at 13th and Wylie streets NE since 2002. “I think there’s good potential for us to save this land for the community.”

Bryne, who has tended plants in the 16-plot garden since 2006, said the gardeners are exploring options for grant funding.

“We would want to make it a gardening park, with nods to immigrants and the riots,” the art teacher said.

The lot is on the market for $250,000, according to HSCDC executive director Kenneth J. Brewer Sr.

“We think it’s a good time for us to market our site,” he said. “If [the gardeners] have an alternative, they should get back to us quickly.”

Bryne started a “Save Wylie Garden” petition through Change.org last week. More than 60 people had indicated support as of 2 p.m. today.

Last year, the company Rise Developments set out to buy the garden lot from HSCDC and turn it into a parking for condos. The developer dropped that plan in March 2014 following community outcry, District Source reported.

Bryne urged locals to defend the much-needed refuge from city life.

“You get here and you’re grounded,” she said. “You put on shorts, you go out there, you pick up herbs for dinner … the sun is on you — you’re just relaxed.”

Photo via Save Wylie Garden

by Andrea Swalec — January 29, 2015 at 12:20 pm 1,393 0

Eastern Market flea market (Photo via Facebook/The Flea Market at Eastern Market)

The dozens of vendors who sell jewelry, antiques and art in white tents near Eastern Market will move within months.

Now that the redevelopment of Hine Junior High School has the green light from the city, talks are ramping up to relocate Eastern Market’s weekend flea markets to make way for the work. The vendors who usually operate just north of the school will move onto 7th Street SE, representatives for the flea market, developer and community groups said.

Seventh Street SE will be closed to traffic from Pennsylvania Avenue SE to C Street SE on weekends starting in April or May, Stanton Development Corporation vice president Alex Golding said.

“The market dates aren’t definite because we don’t know how long hazmat [work] will take,” Golding said about initial work set to start at 8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE in mid-February.

Permits for the relocation that’s years in the making have been approved, according to Barry Margeson, market manager for the D.C. Office of Property Management. The exact layout of the market will likely change during different phases of construction.

The manager of the flea market held on Sundays said 7th Street won’t provide room for all 100 of the 10-by-10-foot market booths.

“There’s no way to accommodate all my vendors,” Michael Berman, executive director of The Flea Market at Eastern Market, said. “We’re working now on how many spaces can be accommodated.”

Jerry Sroufe, co-chair of Eastern Market Metro Community Association, echoed concerns about a shortage of space for vendors.

ANC 6B 02 Commissioner Diane Hoskins, who represents the Eastern Market area, said she was hopeful that locals and developers could work to support the viability of the markets. Being more visible from the Eastern Market Metro station could even give the markets a boost, she said.

Hoskins, a C Street SE resident, said she appreciated the developers’ regular communication with local groups, including their agreement to attend weekly meetings.

“I’m encouraged by the fact that the developers have committed to sitting down on a regular basis,” she said.

The manager of the flea market held on Saturdays, Carol Wright, did not respond to an inquiry.

An update about the Hine Project will be provided at the ANC 6B meeting set to be held Feb. 10 at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE).

Stanton and its partners, collectively known as Stanton-EastBanc, will replace the closed school with seven stories of retail space, offices, underground parking and more than 150 residential units, some of which will be affordable and designated for seniors. After a long fight by a group of locals to reduce the height and density of the buildings, the D.C. Court of Appeals rejected a request to send development plans back to the D.C. Zoning Commission. The $150 million project is slated to be finished in late 2017 or early 2018.

Shoppers at the flea markets can expect to find a familiar set of vendors on 7th Street, Berman said.

“It won’t be the same layout, but we hope to accommodate as many of our longterm vendors in our temporary space,” he said.

Photo via Facebook/The Flea Market at Eastern Market

by Andrea Swalec — January 29, 2015 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

A man armed with pepper spray committed a robbery on the block full of wholesalers and warehouses just west of Union Market.

The midday crime occurred about 12:20 p.m. Monday on the 1300 block of 4th Street NE. Surveillance video shows a man with dreadlocks sprinting away from a man who appears to be pointing a gun at him. Police identified the man with dreadlocks as a person of interest.

More information on the circumstances of the robbery was not immediately available.

Overall crime in Police Service Area 506 — which covers NoMa north of Florida Avenue NE — is 43 percent higher this year thus far than the same period last year. Eighty-three crimes have been reported in the area in January so far, compared with 58 crimes in the same period in 2014, Metropolitan Police Department data shows.

Anyone who can identify this individual or who has knowledge of this incident should take no action but call police at 202-727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s text tip line at 50411. The Department currently offers a reward of up to $10,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a violent offense, including armed robbery, committed in the District of Columbia.

Video via MPD

by Andrea Swalec — January 29, 2015 at 9:10 am 0

Houses on F Street NE

Morton’s Pharmacy Robbery Update — The same three men who robbed Morton’s Pharmacy on Friday are wanted for robbing two stores in Anacostia, too. The masked men stole cash and prescriptions, and at least one has a gun. [Washington Post]

Uline Arena Redevelopment — In addition to the District’s first REI sporting goods store, the Uline Arena in NoMa will have room for 20,000 square feet of additional retail space and three floors of offices. [Washington Post]

New Design for Big NoMa Building — The design of the Union Market residential and retail complex planned just north of the NoMa Metro station has been revised to “reflect the industrial character of the neighborhood.” [Urban Turf]

Winter Weather Today — Rain and sleet are likely today between 5 and 8 p.m. [National Weather Service]

by Andrea Swalec — January 28, 2015 at 5:50 pm 0

 

(Updated at 11:40 a.m. Thursday) It’s official: the sporting goods store REI will open in the historic Uline Arena building in NoMa, the company confirmed Wednesday evening.

The first REI store in D.C. will sprawl 51,000 square feet in the loaf-shaped brick building visible from the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro station. It will offer cycling, camping and skiing equipment to buy and rent.

“Our Washington, D.C. flagship will be an immersive experience — much more than a retail store,” company president and CEO Jerry Stritzke said in a statement. “We think that people in D.C. who love the outdoors want a place where they can come together to dream and scheme about their adventures.”

REI will employ 150 people in the building where President Dwight Eisenhower held his inaugural ball and The Beatles played their first U.S. show.

NoMA BID president Robin-Eve Jasper said the business offers the area a boost.

“NoMa-ites of all stripes will benefit from REI’s focus on healthy living and support of the community,” she said.

A Douglas Development representative reportedly confirmed in early December that the store would open in the arena, and then REI told Hill Now it wasn’t a done deal.

The store will open in late 2016, the company said.

Rendering courtesy of REI

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