Guardian Angels (Facebook/Guardian-Angels-Washington-DC)

Metro riders in NoMa may notice people in red berets patrolling the platforms this week.

D.C. Guardian Angels, a nonprofit crime prevention organization made up of unarmed citizens, announced in a tweet yesterday that some of its members will patrol the NoMa-Gallaudet University and Rhode Island Metro stations, as well as the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

Patrol members can be spotted with their signature red berets and white shirts. Volunteers are trained to make citizens’ arrests and often take a more physical approach to preventing crime, said Guardian Angels member Aaron Thompson.

Patrols at the NoMa Metro station are part of the organization’s effort to make itself more visible in criminal “hot spots,” he said. Recent homicides in the NoMa area, such as the July 4 Metro stabbing, have encouraged his volunteers to stand watch at Metro stations and participate in local community outreach programs.

“What’s important right now is to encourage young people to join groups like ours instead of street gangs,” Thompson said. “We need people who are concerned about their community to come forward and not be part of the problem, but rather the solution. Police can’t do it by themselves. It takes the community.”

The organization is currently seeking to train young people for lookout roles, he said. People interested in volunteering can email [email protected].

Photo via Facebook/Gaurian-Angels-Washington-DC


Morning Rundown

Capitol Hill

A Look Back at Ibiza in NoMa — More than 30 lawsuits have been filed over defunct NoMa club Ibiza. The Washington City Paper details the fallout of one the suits between owner Steve Han and his former investors. [Washington City Paper]

Mile Markers Going Up on Metropolitan Branch Trail — The Metropolitan Branch Trail is getting new mile markers ever tenth mile between L and Franklin streets in Northeast. The signs come in response to a July 13 robbery, when a woman was unable to give a 911 operator a precise location. [WAMU]

Cranes Arrive Near Waterfront Metro Station — Construction appears ready to start at 1001 4th Street SW, where Forest City will build an apartment building. Most of the construction is expected to wrap up by November 2016. [SWTLQTC]


Morning Rundown

Flowers near Frager's Hardware

D.C. on Storm Alert — A flash flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Capitol Hill area and the rest of the District from 2 p.m. through late tonight. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center currently has D.C. under a “slight” risk for severe weather. [WJLA]

Taylor Swift Overcomes Malfunction at Nationals ParkPop star Taylor Swift was temporarily stranded above a stage at Nationals Park during a sold-out show when a piece of equipment malfunctioned. [WTOP]

Met Branch Trail Robbery — A 29-year-old woman was robbed of her iPhone and $50 Monday, as two muggers pushed the off her bicycle along the Metropolitan Branch Trail near NoMa. A bystander captured the mugging on camera. [FOX 5]

Water Bill Spike — Water bills in the District are set to become more expensive starting Oct. 1. DC Water announced the bill for a family of four people will increase by about $11 to $96 a month. [NBC Washington]


L Street NE staircase (Photo via Twitter/District Department of Transportation)A stretch of the Metropolitan Branch Trail in NoMa reopened yesterday after a fire damaged an entrance to the path.

The portion of the trail between L and M streets NE is open now to bicyclists and runners, following a fire that set an L Street stairway to the path ablaze April 18. The cause of the fire is unclear.

The District Department of Transportation tweeted yesterday afternoon, “DDOT beats the fire,” along with a photo showing new steps and railings for the staircase.

In the days after the fire, yellow caution tape blocked access to the stairway, which were charred at the top. Part of the staircase was missing, and a pile of burnt wood laid on the trail near L Street.

The 8-mile trail runs from Union Station to Silver Spring.

Photo via Twitter/DDOT


(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) A fire over the weekend is keeping bicyclists and runners off a portion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail.

The stretch of the trail between L and M streets NE, in NoMa, remains closed today as the District Department of Transportation works to repair or replace a staircase on L Street that caught fire, DDOT spokeswoman Michelle Phipps-Evans said.

D.C. fire department spokesman Timothy Wilson said today the cause of the blaze is still unknown. Firefighters responded to the fire about 11 p.m. Saturday.

Yellow caution tape blocked access to the stairs, which were charred at the top, on Tuesday morning. Part of the stairway was missing, and a pile of burnt wood laid on the trail near L Street.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the section of the trail will reopen. In the meantime, DDOT is advising bicyclists and runners who normally would use the staircase to enter or leave the trail using the M Street ramp.

The 8-mile trail runs from Union Station to Silver Spring.


Metropolitan Branch Trail (Photo via Wikimedia/TrailVoice)

Feel unsafe on the Metropolitan Branch Trail in NoMa? A community group wants to know.

The NoMa Business Improvement District is surveying locals about safety on the 8-mile trail that goes from Union Station to Silver Spring.

The survey asks residents to name places where they “feel particularly insecure” and whether surveillance cameras, emergency call boxes or any other additional security measures would “improve your sense of comfort and security.”

The trail is a regular target of crime. Last month, two teenagers were charged with robbing five people at knifepoint along the pathway.

NoMa BID, the Metropolitan Police Department, the District Department of Transportation and others are “leading an effort to enhance safety, accessibility and the user experience on the Metropolitan Branch Trail,” according to the survey.

Photo via Wikimedia/TrailVoice


Morning Rundown

Public art at 1st and M streets NE

Teens Arrested for Metropolitan Branch Trail Robberies — Two teenagers have been charged with robbing five people at knifepoint on and near the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Victims on the trail that runs from NoMa to Silver Spring all had their cellphones stolen. [ABC 7]

Park Service Wants Dogs to Chase Geese Off National Mall — The National Park Service is seeking public comment on a proposal to use border collies to shoo Canada geese away from the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool and other destinations on the National Mall. [AP]

Ambulance Dispatch System Plagued by Technical Glitches — After the death of a choking toddler, D.C. officials said yesterday that a computer problem is delaying ambulance response times. Tablets used by first responders are having connectivity issues, and paramedics haven’t been properly trained to use them, the deputy mayor for public safety said. The D.C. Fire Department is adding 10 ambulances during day shifts, as the number of emergency calls has risen. [WAMUWashington Times]

Wife of Hill Resident Stabbed to Death Will Speak Today — The wife of David Messerschmitt will speak publicly today for the first time. The lawyer and Hill resident was found stabbed to death last month in a hotel near Thomas Circle. [ABC 7]

Bill Would Force Compensation When a Building Blocks Your Sun — Councilman David Grosso has introduced a bill to D.C. Council that would require property owners to be compensated when new development, like pop-ups, casts a shadow on their solar panels. [Washington Business Journal]


Morning Rundown

Outside Union Station

Robbery Spree on Metropolitan Branch Trail — Four people were robbed at knifepoint this weekend on or near the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which runs from NoMa to Silver Spring. In each robbery, one or two men took victims’ cellphones. The crimes appear connected, police said. [Washington Post]

Metal Detectors Coming to Nationals Park — Baseball fans will have to go through metal detectors to see a game at Nationals Park this season. The ballpark and all other Major League Baseball stadiums must have metal detectors in place this year. [WTOP]

H Street Runners Returns Tonight — H Street Runners, a local running club, is returning with a “Spring Fun Run and Happy Hour” today. Runners should meet at 6:30 p.m. at 5th and H streets NE for about three miles of running. Drinks will follow at The Big Board on H Street. [PoPville]

Picking the ‘Right’ School on Capitol Hill and Beyond — Local Amy Kovac-Ashley visited Peabody Elementary School and 17 other D.C. schools in 90 days to find the right school for their 3-year-old son. After touring Peabody, she asked, “Why can’t all of D.C.’s kids go to a school like that?” [Medium]

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Metropolitan Branch Trail 5K (Photo via Facebook/Metropolitan Branch Trail 5K)Hundreds of runners will speed through NoMa soon as part of the Metropolitan Branch Trail 5K.

Registration recently opened for the race, which is set for Saturday, May 2.

The 5K that had about 400 participants last year highlights the recreation opportunities the eight-mile trail offers, race co-director Sherri Morgan said.

“The race is a means to showcase a new and actively used recreational amenity — and commuter pathway — that links the historic Brookland and Edgewood neighborhoods, and others that are adjacent, to NoMa, Union Station and beyond,” she said by email.

Runners will start at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station, head south, turn around between L and M streets NE and return to the Metro station.

Participants last year included Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilman Kenyan McDuffie, Morgan said.

Registration available online costs $25 for adults and is free for up to 150 youth under age 18.

Photo via Facebook/Metropolitan Branch Trail 5K

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