Las Placitas Closing on Barracks Row — After 25 years, the Salvadorian/Mexican restaurant Las Placitas will close on 8th Street SE, Capitol Hill Corner says. Matchbox will expand into the Latin restaurant’s storefront, with new seating, an expanded bar and more bathrooms. [Capitol Hill Corner]
New Details on Amtrak Derailment — The Amtrak train that left Union Station and derailed in Philadelphia was traveling 106 mph, more than twice the authorized speed of 50 mph when approaching a curve. Available technology that automatically stops trains from exceeding speed limits could have prevented the disaster that killed seven people, according to the initial investigation. [Washington Post]
Bowser Tax Hike Plan Rejected by D.C. Council — The D.C. Council’s finance committee rejected Mayor Muriel Bowser’s plan to raise the sales tax by 0.25 percent. Bowser said the sales tax increase would raise a projected $22 million to address homelessness. Councilman Jack Evans said the explanation was “just rhetoric,” as the funds would go toward the city’s general fund. [Washington Times]
ClassPass on Capitol Hill — The Hill Is Home recommends where to use the exercise class deal ClassPass, which lets users try multiple gyms and fitness centers for one monthly fee. Biker Barre, Jade Fitness and Old City Crossfit are on the list. [The Hill Is Home]
At Least 6 People Dead After Amtrak Train From D.C. Derails — A northbound Amtrak train that left from Union Station derailed last night in Philadelphia, killing at least six people and injuring more than 50 people. The derailment about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday occurred on a curving section of track, according to witnesses. The names of the dead had not been released as of 9 a.m. [Washington Post]
‘Matriarch’ of Eastern Market Dies — Maria Calomiris, a produce vendor at Eastern Market for more than 60 years, died Monday. She was beloved by customers and known for giving fruit to children, a 2009 profile in The Washington Post says. [Hill Rag]
Parents Still Pushing for School Renovations — As Hill Now reported, Capitol Hill parents are still urging the city to renovate crumbling schools, including Eliot-Hine Middle School. D.C. Councilman David Grosso, head of the Education Committee, is expected to release new rules today on how the District plans for school construction work. [Washington Post]
Suspicious Fire on Bennett Place NE — A fire yesterday afternoon on the 1900 block of Bennett Place NE is being investigated as suspicious. One firefighter was injured in the blaze in the basement of a two-story rowhouse. [WJLA 7]
Bowser Is Saying ‘Redskins’ Again — After signing a D.C. Council resolution last year that asked the Redskins to change their name, Bowser is using the name in TV and radio interviews. She spoke recently about wanting the team to play at a new stadium on the current RFK Stadium site. [NBC Washington]
It’s the hottest day of the year so far, and Häagen-Dazs is handing out free ice cream cones.
The Union Station outpost of Häagen-Dazs is participating in Free Cone Day from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Each customer can get one free children’s size scoop in a sugar cone, cake cone or cup, Häagen-Dazs says. For locations elsewhere, see the company’s location-finder tool.
Photo via Facebook/HaagenDazs US
Hank’s Oyster Bar Nixes Distillery Plan — The Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle locations of Hank’s Oyster Bar planned to make their own gin or vodka for speciality cocktails, but dropped the plan after learning the necessary city permit would cost $7,500 a year. [Washington City Paper]
Update on Attack by Driver With Uber Sticker — The woman who evaded being sexually assaulted by a driver with an Uber decal early Sunday got into the car through a street hail, not by booking the ride using the Uber app. Uber drivers are permitted to pick up passengers only via the app. [Washington Post]
Metro Issues Rare Apology for Partial Shutdown — Metro apologized for disrupting commuters on Monday by suspending service on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines between D.C. and Virginia. An arcing third rail insulator — when electricity escapes the third rail — was to blame for the smoke reported near the Rosslyn station. [WAMU]
‘Car Free A to Z’ Shows Transit Options — A new app and online tool lets you map out a route that includes public transit, driving, walking or biking, and tells you if using two modes of transportation would make sense. [Greater Greater Washington]
Streetcar Podcast — The Hill Is Home launched a podcast about “where the streetcar started and where it may go.” The first installment features Ward 6 Councilman Charles Allen, local historian Robert Pohl and Anwar Saleem, the head of H Street Main Street. [The Hill Is Home]
How Plastic Bag Fees Have Been Spent — The nickel tax on plastic bags crafted by ex-Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells has generated about $10 million since 2010. About a third of the funds have gone toward direct river cleanup and items like rain gardens to catch runoff, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. Uses of the funds intended to protect the river have included $1.7 million in personnel costs and $1.2 million to send every D.C. fifth-grader on a river-related field trip. [Washington Post]
Capitol Hill ‘Bar Madness’ Party — During March Madness for basketball, The Hill Is Home ran a bracket for bars near Capitol Hill. The winner, Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, will be celebrated tonight. The party starts at 1104 H St. NE at 6 p.m. [The Hill Is Home]
Community Meetings — Items on ANC meeting agenda this week include a presentation by the First District’s “top cop,” Commander Jeff Brown, and evaluation of a liquor license for the second restaurant from the owner of Rose’s Luxury. [Capitol Hill Corner]
Geothermal Power at the Hill Center — The Hill Center is heated and cooled using a geothermal system with 32 wells dug 350 feet deep. [Hill Rag]
Mayor Bowser Wants Redskins at RFK Stadium Site — Mayor Muriel Bowser said she wants to bring the Washington Redskins back to the District, possibly to a new stadium at the current RFK Stadium site. “We know that the perfect location for the Redskins is where they played for decades very successfully. We have the infrastructure sitting on top of a Metro station,” she said. [NBC Washington]
Archery Champs at Hill School — Four students at Capitol Hill Montessori (215 G St. NE) are competing in a national archery tournament in Louisville. The school’s archery program is part of a citywide D.C. Public Schools initiative. [Hill Rag]
Art Events This Weekend — New art will be on display this weekend at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (101 I St. SW) and Cove Capitol Hill (611 1/2 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), among other locations. [Frozen Tropics]
The Friday night parade on Barracks Row will have a big-name guest of honor tomorrow — Sen. John McCain.
The senator will be the guest of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., Barracks officials announced this afternoon. The festivities will include the U.S. Marine Band, Silent Drill Platoon, U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and two companies of marchers.
“When determining guests of honor for Marine Barracks Washington evening and sunset parades, the Marine Corps typically highlights veterans, public officials and other individuals or organizations who support Marines and their families,” a statement from the U.S. Marine Corps communication office said.
The parade begins at 8:45 p.m. All guaranteed seats are currently booked, but a standby, general admission line will start forming about 7 p.m..
“Ninety-five percent of the time,” people in that line can be seated by 8 p.m., Capt. Diann Rosenfeld said.
More than 3,500 people attend the Friday evening parades at the Marine Barracks every Friday night through Aug. 28, as Hill Now reported earlier this year.
First-time attendees can expect marchers to kick off the evening with “Ode to Joy,” “God Bless the USA” or another pick from their repertoire. Then, the Drum and Bugle Corps will perform, the Silent Drill Platoon will go on, and the Drum and Bugle Corps will take the field again. A senior ranking officer and his or her guest is honored at each parade.
Photo via McCain.Senate.gov
Best Spot to Watch World War II Aircraft Flyover — The Southwester recommends watching the “Arsenal of Democracy” flyover of World War II-era planes tomorrow from the Tidal Basin. [The Southwester]
New Playground in Southwest — The new playground at the King-Greenleaf Recreation Center (201 N St. SW) looks ready to open soon. The equipment includes sprinklers and a “splash park.” [Southwest…The Little Quadrant That Could]
From ‘Legendary’ Boxing Gym to Yoga Studio — The new East Side Yoga studio at 518 10th St. NE used to be a boxing club where Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman and Miles Davis worked out. [Capitol Hill Corner]
The annual Capitol Hill Classic race is later this month, and organizers still need a few extra hands.
Volunteers are still needed to hand out race packets, check bags and help children doing the “fun run,” organizers said online.
The race in its 36th iteration is scheduled for Sunday, May 17 and will include music this year from the all-women percussion group Batala Washington and the Stuart-Hobson Middle School marching band, as Hill Now reported.
The fundraiser for the Capitol Hill Cluster School — which includes a 10K, 3K and fun run for children — is expected to have more than 3,800 participants this year. Signups are still being accepted.
The race courses this year will be similar to last year’s courses, with the 10K starting at Peabody Elementary School, passing the Library of Congress and then heading east on East Capitol Street to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. It will then loop back to finish at Peabody. The 3K will start at Peabody, do a loop near Stanton Park and return to the school. And the fun run for kids will just lap Stanton Park.
To sign up to volunteer, see organizers’ online form.
Photo courtesy of Capitol Hill Classic/Djenno Bacvic Photography
Senior Attacked in Metro Station Speaks — The 69-year-old man attacked in the Eastern Market Metro station last month said his assailant pushed him, said “Get out of the way, old man?” and then asked “Do you want to take this outside?” Victim Albert Langeberg told the attacker he was a “disgrace to the human race.” [NBC Washington]
How the 11th Street Bridge Park Will Benefit Anacostia — The group behind the 11th Street Bridge Park project is working with groups in Ward 8 to spur economic development on both sides of the river. Job training programs, opportunities for entrepreneurs and more public meetings are in the works. [Next City]
Pedestrian Safety Critique on Bike to School Day — Hill East resident and ex-Congressional candidate Tim Krepp praised the spirit of Bike to School Day in an editorial for The Hill Is Home but said the city hasn’t committed to keeping pedestrians and bikers safe. [The Hill Is Home]
Home Buyers’ Nightmare — A three-part series by WAMU tells the stories of home buyers who learned too late that their houses were shoddily renovated, leaving them dealing with sewage overflows, rotten wood and toxic mold. [WAMU]
The Best Tacos on the Hill — Local writer/photographer/taco correspondent María Helena Carey maps out where to eat tacos near Capitol Hill, including one stuffed with grasshoppers. [The Hill Is Home]
Brand-New Condo Building to Be Torn Down — The new condo building at 1744 D St. NE is being demolished after D.C. Water found the building could damage the aging water tunnel beneath it. The developer, Edge Investments, said they had all the proper permits. D.C. Water said they found damage to sewers caused by improper construction of the building. [NBC Washington]
Boozy Cupcake Law Now in Effect — Bakeries that serve alcohol-infused cupcakes — like Crunkcakes and Curbside Cupcakes — are now required to get a liquor-license. As Hill Now previously reported, the law requires businesses that sell booze-infused baked goods to sell the products only to people 21 or older, and sell the sweets in sealed containers. [DCist]
New York Pizza, Paint Store Moving Onto Pennsylvania Avenue — New York Pizza and McCormick Paints will move into 1442 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, the website for the development says. Two other paint stores are nearby. [Capitol Hill Corner]
Group Still Trying to Stop CSX Tunnel Work — The Committee of 100 on the Federal City is fighting a judge’s decision last month refusing to stop CSX tunnel construction. The group filed a motion to freeze the project before “irreversible” work like tree removal occurs. [Washington Post]
Capitol Hill CSA Guide — Interested in getting deliveries of local produce? Hill Rag has a guide to community-supported agriculture groups in the area. [Hill Rag]
Navy Yard May Get D.C.’s First Winery — The New York company Brooklyn Winery is in talks to open District Winery, on Water Street SE. The company is planning a 15,000-square foot building with 450 seats indoors, 100 seats outdoors and a tasting room. [Washington City Paper; Washington Business Journal]
Apartments, New Retail to Replace H Street Strip Mall — There are new details on what will replace the H Street Connection strip mall between 8th and 10th streets NE. The complex will be torn down and replaced with 420 apartments and 45,00 square feet of new retail. Work on the development that will hit eight stories is expected to begin next year. [Washington Business Journal]
D.C. Is One of the Most Segregated Cities in America — Washington is the sixth most segregated city in the country, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight. The data compares city diversity to neighborhood diversity. [Washington City Paper; FiveThirtyEight]
Community Meetings — Items on ANC agendas this week include discussion of a liquor license for Nando’s Peri-Peri on H Street NE, the latest on the Eastern Market flea markets and DOT’s study on Southeast Boulevard. [Capitol Hill Corner]
Woody “Mr. Fuzzy” Short, the beloved shoeshine man found dead last month off the Southwest waterfront, will be remembered at a memorial service being planned for this month.
Downtown law firms and a Maryland funeral parlor are teaming up to fund a service for Short, his brother Robert Short Sr. said.
“It’s very nice. Whatever they do for me, it’s going to help,” said Short.
Glenda Freeman, the owner of Freeman Funeral Services in Clinton, Maryland, offered to provide the service at a discount. She said she was contacted by a law firm that was a longtime customer of Mr. Fuzzy, offering to cover the costs.
“We’re here to make money, but were also here to do community service,” Freeman said. “Sometimes it’s time to step up.”
The law firm could not immediately be reached.
Woody Short’s body was found near the Tidal Basin, close to the 1300 block of Maine Avenue SW on April 11, police said. The death is being investigated as a homicide.
Police initially asked for help identifying the body, which was found with a laminated business card that read “Fuzz W.S. Fuzzy Shoe Shine Doctor.” A lawyer and a marketing director who work on I Street NW recognized the name — Mr. Fuzzy had shined shoes in their office for decades. They contacted police and Short was identified.
Police called Robert Short and told him they found a message in his brother’s home.
“The investigating officers said they found a note: ‘If anything happens to me, call Robert Short Sr.,” he said.
Woody Short’s cause of death has not been determined, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said today.
Last week, customers of Mr. Fuzzy remembered him as relentlessly upbeat. He wore his hair in an Afro for years and whenever anyone asked how we was, his reply was “Great like those Frosted Flakes,” they said.
Short said he was moved to hear people spoke fondly of his brother. The brothers, from a big family of “about 10″ siblings,” lost touch and had spoken to each other only a handful of times since the early 1970s, he said.
Woody Short was creative, outgoing and a “sharp dresser,” said Robert Short, who lives in Forestville, Maryland.
“He was all about writing books and writing movie scripts,” he said. “He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke. He wasn’t the person chasing around this person and that person, this woman and that woman.”
Woody Short never married or had children, according to his brother, and he wasn’t homeless, as customers believed. Rather, he lived in a sparse unit in the Capital Plaza Apartments (35 E St. NW) for more than 20 years.
Like Woody Short told customers, his brother said he was called Fuzzy since birth, after being born with a headful of hair. Police said his legal name was Fuzz Woody Short Fuzzy. Robert Short said his birthname was simply Woody Short.
The exact date and location of the memorial service haven’t been determined yet, but it will likely be held downtown, Freeman said.
Photo courtesy of Richard G. Stoll
You could help clean up a park this weekend — and then eat a free lunch from The Argonaut with your neighbors.
The group Sherwood Neighborhood Volunteers is seeking locals to participate in the annual spring planting and cleanup at Sherwood Recreation Center on Saturday. Volunteers will weed, mulch and plant flowers at 640 10th St. NE from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., an announcement from the group H Street Great Street says. The gardening work session will be followed by a complimentary lunch from The Argonaut (1433 H St. NE).
The public recreation center got a new playground and new plantings in fall 2014.
Image via Twitter/Sherwood Volunteers
Capitol Sledding Ban Might Be Dropped — Sledding might not be a crime. The House Appropriations Committee passed a provision this week that would allow sledding on the Capitol grounds. In defiance of the ban, families held a non-violent sled-in at the Capitol on March 5. [Washington Post]
Navy Yard Development Map — JDLand mapped out what development is planned and when it’s expected to be complete in the booming Navy Yard, aka Capitol Riverfront, area. By the site’s count, 21 new buildings are now complete and about 37 new buildings are on the way. [JDland]
Senior Citizen Assault Suspect Had Assault Arrest — The 19-year-old suspected of punching a 69-year-old man in the Eastern Market Metro station last week is on probation for assault. He attacked an actor after a performance last May, leaving the victim in the hospital, police said. [NBC Washington]