Bluegrass, folk and blues music filled the air around the Anacostia River this weekend as part of the Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival.
More than 40 bands participated in the annual event, which attracted scores of people:
— AnacostiaRiverkeeper (@AnacostiaRrkper) April 30, 2016
Though it was a little damp and slightly chilly, concertgoers came prepared with hoodies and jackets. And judging by the preceding pictures, it looks like a good time was had by all.
Photos by Jared Holt
Batting cages are set to be installed sometime this spring on the empty lot at the intersection of 19th and C streets NE beside Eliot-Hine Middle School. Events DC, which manages the land, partnered with Capitol Hill Little League to install the cages. Capitol Hill Little League offers baseball and softball instruction for D.C. children age 6-16.
Events DC president and CEO Gregory O’Dell said that the cages are part of an effort to find short-term uses for the area around RFK Stadium while Events DC explores permanent redevelopment options.
“Events DC is excited to partner with Capitol Hill Little League, enabling us to enhance community and family-friendly programming on the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus,” he said. “We look forward to welcoming the batting cages this spring for District residents and our city’s youth to benefit.”
The cages are slated be open year-round for Little League practice and community use.
Photo via Google Maps
Hill Now periodically publishes opinion pieces from our readers. Have something you want to share with the Capitol Hill community? Email us at [email protected].
by Chan Han
Here is a question I do not think anyone has asked as of yet, especially Events DC: What is the current NFL design standards for a stadium today and can the city handle it?
Let me start off by saying that I used to work at a architecture firm that designed football stadiums for several teams, such as the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and the Minnesota Vikings. I can assure you, a standard does exist.
For example, new stadiums must be able to seat between 60,000 and 100,000 people. A minimum of 80 to 100 acres of undisturbed land must be dedicated solely to the stadium itself. No eminent domain, no easements and no wetlands issues must be present. To accommodate the traditional tailgaters, it is preferred to have at least an additional 100 to 120 acres for dedicated parking.
So now you are talking 180 to 220 acres of land for a current, up to date, modern stadium. The RFK site only has 190 acres total, which is on the low end of what the NFL standards for new stadiums demand. The fact that it is mostly wetlands only diminishes the usable amount of land for a stadium.
Now comes the question, do we just renovate RFK? The problem is RFK can only hold 49,000. FedExField can hold 79,000. That’s 30,000 possible season ticket holders unaccounted for, a huge loss in revenue.
The other issue is the age of RFK Stadium. To upgrade the stadium itself will be astronomical. The stadium and all of its utilities will have to be upgraded to meet today’s building codes. Honestly, it will be cheaper to build a new stadium from scratch. The average price for a new stadium today with amenities can range from $700 million to $1.5 billion.
Another question: Has anyone even asked Dan Snyder if he will seriously consider moving back into D.C.? If the owner of the Redskins is not even considering moving back into the city, why are we wasting our time and resources planning for it?
And my last question: Has anyone read the development report made by the National Capital Planning Commission on the RFK Stadium grounds? Most of its findings are very logical and thorough, not to mention, along the lines of what the Kingman Park neighborhood is looking for.
Given all of this info, RFK realistically can no longer be used as a stadium. We should put our efforts into developing a plan which would benefit the neighborhood and the city.
Han is an architect and a contractor, who lives in Kingman Park.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hill Now.
Photo via Wikimedia/Ben Schumin
District Prepares for Papal Visit — Police are expecting large crowds on the National Mall and around the U.S. Capitol when Pope Francis visits D.C. next month. [Washington Post]
H Street Streetcar Exploring Mobile Payment — The D.C. Department of Transportation is looking for a company to design a way for future passengers on the H Street NE streetcar to pay using their cell phones. [Washington Business Journal]
Touring the Nationals Park New Nursing Lounge — In response to a Change.org petition, Nationals Park unveiled the Lansinoh Nursing Lounge, where breastfeeding mothers can nurse in comfort without missing any of the game. [Washingtonian]
Kingman Park Beekeepers Ready New Batch of Honey — The beekeepers behind H Street Honey are ready to start selling their hyper-local honey. [Hill Now]
Send Hill Now a Letter — Have something you want to share with Hill Now and our readers? We publish article and opinion contributions pertaining to local issues in the Capitol Hill community and Ward 6. [Hill Now]
D.C. locavores have another chance to buy honey from two Kingman Park beekeepers. But the supply from H Street Honey might not last long.
Gavin Cepelak, who owns H Street Honey with his wife, Raquel Sherman, said he has harvested about 150 jars’ worth of honey, about half of what he sold last year. Cepelak said he has fewer hives than last year and has new hives that he didn’t want to over-harvest.
“With a new hive, you don’t want to take all of their honey away because they need it to survive through the winter,” he said. “Survival is the main focus this year.”
Cepelak and Sherman started the colonies later than usual this year because Sherman gave birth to their first child at the beginning of the year.
Although H Street Honey’s last batch was available at H Street Organic Market and several other local stores, Cepelak said he and his wife are planning to sell the honey themselves this year.
Locals interested in purchasing some of the honey can email H Street Honey. The honey is $16 for a 9-ounce jar.
Ceplak said he and his wife hope to find a location where they can sell their honey in September. In October, Ceplak is planning to host an event through Mess Hall, a culinary incubator and shared kitchen facility out of which H Street Honey operates. The event will feature two separate sessions for children and adults to learn more about beekeeping and honey cultivation.
“We’re going to do a kind of a bee education and harvesting demonstration for children in the early afternoon, and then in the evening, there will be an adult side of it where we’ll bring in a local pastry chef, a mixologist [and] probably a chef as well so people can taste the honey in different foods and drinks.”
Photo via Facebook/H Street Honey
(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6, a Metropolitan Police Department commander and other D.C. officials are scheduled to visit Rosedale tomorrow for a discussion on public safety in and around the area.
The meeting, which is open to the public, is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the gymnasium of the Rosedale Community Center at 1701 Gales St. NE, according to a notice posted by ANC 6A commissioner Sondra Phillips-Gilbert yesterday on a neighborhood listserv.
In addition to Allen, Commander William Fitzgerald of MPD’s Fifth District, D.C. Office of Attorney General community outreach director Robert White and MPD’s Fifth District community outreach coordinator Fayette Vaughn-Lee are slated to speak during the discussion.
“I thought it was important to pull together the city leaders and some folks that could answer some questions and also provide resources and alert the community on what to look out for,” Phillips-Gilbert said. “I think that with input from the community, the police can better know how to assist us.”
The shooting happened about 1:45 a.m. on the 1600 block of F Street NE, police said. The area is roughly between the southern portions of the Miner and community center properties in Kingman Park.
The victim was conscious after the shooting, police said. Authorities didn’t have any suspect information.
Photo via Google Maps
The armed carjacking happened about 4:45 p.m. on the 1800 block of E Street NE, near the Rosedale Community Center, police said.
Authorities are looking for a 1998 gold Toyota Avalon with a Virginia license plate.
Photo via Google Maps
Thieves who burglarized a woman’s home and stole her car in Near Northeast while she slept have showed up on surveillance video at a 7-Eleven, police say.
The burglars hit the house on the 500 block of 14th Street NE early Tuesday morning, police said. After entering through an open front door, the thieves took a laptop, a purse and the keys to the woman’s car. They then hopped in the car and drove away.
The victim reported the crime after she awoke at 7:30 a.m. and found her property missing.
The 7-Eleven video distributed by police today shows a man and a woman, who authorities said are persons of interest in the burglary.
The man was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a baseball cap. The woman was wearing a black and blue jacket and a pink hair tie.
At one point in the video, the woman hugged the man.
Crime Solvers of Washington, D.C., currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia. Your assistance is appreciated by your community.
Anyone who can identify these individuals 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.
Video via the Metropolitan Police Department
About 50,000 bees live on the roof of a home in Near Northeast, and more are on the way.
The locals behind the company H Street Honey are preparing for the summer season and expect to sell their products at a growing number of businesses along the H Street corridor and on Capitol Hill.
“We’ll probably have 100,000 bees this summer,” co-owner Gavin Cepelak said. “We’re looking to expand our hives and just keep growing and growing.”
H Street Organic Market sold jars of the honey last year ($15 per 9 ounce jar), Bullfrog Bagels drizzled it on bagels topped with goat cheese, and the new shop Hunnybunny Boutique sold soap made with it. Now, the couple is talking with local restaurants about using the product, and with “one of the kitchen incubators,” Cepelak said.
“Everything is natural. It’s filtered of any wax or pollen,” Cepelak said about the honey made by Italian bees. “You can eat it right out of the hive.”
Honey made by city bees tastes different from the honey produced by their rural counterparts, Cepelak said.
“Urban honey is so diverse because it pulls from so many diverse resources,” he said. “The bees aren’t just sitting in a blueberry field or a cornfield … These bees are feeding in the Botanic Garden, the local community garden, the flowers. They have a concentrated salad bar.”
Cepelak, 33, and his wife, Raquel Sherman, first put beehives on the roof of the home they own three years ago. It began as a hobby after Cepelak saw a documentary about beekeeping. Then, the couple launched their business last summer.
The honey is sold out now but should be back in stores and restaurants soon. The limited product can only be harvested once or twice a year and is usually sold out by November.
The entrepreneurs will pick up a shipment of more bees next week. The insects are being trucked from California to Stafford, Virginia, and will arrive in three-pound packages of 10,000 bees each.
Cepelak said his neighbors haven’t really noticed that he suits up in a beekeeper’s glove and hood on his rooftop.
“People don’t look up,” he said.
Photos courtesy of H Street Honey
New Ward 6 school budget proposals have brought cheers and jeers as locals push for school renovations.
A plan to start upgrading Hill East’s Watkins Elementary School in the coming year drew praise from some locals. But some parents are concerned after Mayor Muriel Bowser’s budget released yesterday looked to fiscal 2019 to begin repairs at Eliot-Hine Middle School in Kingman Park and Jefferson Academy Middle School in Southwest.
Joe Weedon, Ward 6’s representative to the D.C. State Board of Education, said the District must start renovations at Eliot-Hine and Jefferson in the coming year. The schools need functioning heating and cooling systems, repaired bathrooms and classrooms with better lighting and ventilation, he said.
“The facilities at Eliot-Hine MS and Jefferson Academy MS are far below standard and fail to meet the basic needs of students,” Weedon said on his website.
Bowser proposed a total of $24 million to modernize Jefferson in fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The school at 801 7th St. SW had almost 300 students in the 2013-2014 school year.
Eliot-Hine would receive $34.1 million for renovations in fiscal 2019 and 2020 under the mayor’s plan. Nearly 300 students attended the school at 1830 Constitution Ave. NE in the 2013-2014 school year.
“Both Eliot-Hine MS and Jefferson Academy MS are positioned to become thriving school communities that can serve students from Ward 6 and across the city,” Weedon said. “However, they will fail to achieve their promise without needed capital investments.”
As for Watkins, Bowser requested a total of $30.9 million to renovate the school and its recreation center in fiscal 2016 and 2017. The school at 420 12th St. SE had 545 students in the 2013-2014 school year.
The District plans to make repairs to the school’s heating system and windows this year and begin renovations in 2016.
Last month, Watkins parents called on Bowser to provide more than $27 million for upgrades. Last night, D.C. Department of General Services representatives met with parents to discuss a new gym, window sunshades and other proposed changes to the school.
The mayor’s budget plan for Watkins is a “huge step in the right direction,” said Kevin White, a parent member of the Watkins Modernization School Improvement Team.
“We are happy,” he said.
Jefferson and Eliot-Hine building photos via Google Maps. Eliot-Hine bathroom photo via Twitter/Heather Schoell
Harold Marshall, 38, was arrested Sunday and charged with killing Tyrone Moore earlier that morning, police said. Marshall has no fixed address.
Police responded about 12:30 a.m. Sunday to a report of a stabbing in a home on the 1600 block of F Street NE, near Miner Elementary School. Moore, 32, died at a local hospital.
Marshall was charged with first-degree murder while armed.
Police gave details on other crimes reported in Ward 6 this weekend, including:
- A violent robbery occurred Saturday about 11:15 p.m. near the Eastern Market Metro station. Police described the two suspects as black men, who were between 25 and 35 years old. One of them was riding a bike.
- A pair of masked men stole someone’s wallet and an electronic device at gunpoint a few blocks from Barracks Row Friday night. The robbery occurred about 11:15 p.m. Friday on the 500 block of 11th Street SE. No injuries were reported.
- An armed man assaulted someone last night in Southwest during a failed robbery attempt. The would-be thief attacked at 9 p.m. Sunday on the 1200 block of First Street SW.
- An armed robbery occurred last night on a residential block of Hill East. Three teenagers committed the crime about 9 p.m. Sunday on the 200 block of 13th Street SE. Police described the the suspects as black males. One of the suspects wore black and brown gym clothing and had a gun.
Shaquan Gaskins, 18, was arrested Tuesday on charges that he stabbed a man the afternoon of Feb. 19, police said last night. The Southeast resident was located by the First District Detectives Unit and Capital Area Regional Fugitive Taskforce. He was charged with assault with intent to kill while armed.
Desean Cheadle, 20, was also arrested and was charged with robbery.
As Hill Now reported, the victim was found with multiple stab wounds after 1:10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 on the 1400 block of Duncan Street NE, near Kingsman Field Dog Park and Options Public Charter School. Police said at the time that the victim was attacked in a moving car by someone he knew, then he went to the home on Duncan Street. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Gaskins was denied bond and is due in court March 10, court records show. Cheadle was released and is set to appear in D.C. Superior Court the same day.
The number of violent crimes reported in Police Service Area 108 rose about 7 percent between March 4, 2014 and March 4, 2015 and the previous one-year period. Five violent crimes have been reported in that area in the past month, which matched the number of reports the previous month, Metropolitan Police Department data shows.
The victim was found with multiple stab wounds about 1 p.m. yesterday on the 1400 block of Duncan Street NE, east of Tennessee Avenue NE.
The man was attacked in a moving car by someone he knew, and then went to a home on Duncan Street, police said today. It’s not known yet where the car was at the time of the stabbing.
Detectives are investigating and have not made any arrests yet.
The victim was taken to a local hospital and treated, police said. Additional information was not immediately available.
More than 130 customers near 24th Street NE and Benning Road NE had no electricity, Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey said. The outage was first reported at 5:07 a.m. Crews initially anticipated being able to restore power by 11 a.m., and then that estimate was changed to 1 p.m.
Power was back at about 11:30 a.m., Hainey said in an update.
The cause of the outage was not immediately known.
Photo via Flickr/curiouskiwi