November 30, 2007

The suspence is killing me

I am in a hotel in Capitol Hill waiting to meet with a group of public health people and the hotel is overtaken by people in leather clothing, dark dyed hair and halter tops. I thought some kind of biker convention was going on but apparently it's an "alternative" conference for the Black Rose. I can't check the website from here but the suspence is killing me...

City to Boost Anti-Gang Efforts After Spike in Violence

Hum... This might explain why we haven't been very successful at getting roommates.

By Allison Klein

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 30, 2007

At least five violent ganglike "crews" of young people are warring in the Columbia Heights and lower Georgia Avenue areas of Northwest Washington, where 11 people have been shot in recent weeks, city officials said yesterday.

Since early October, people in the neighborhoods have reported more than 100 gunshots, said D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D- Ward 1), who represents the area and has been pleading for more police attention. Officers have made two arrests in the cases involving the 11 victims.

It's absolutely incredible more people aren't wounded and shot," Graham said yesterday. "This situation is red-hot."

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) joined Graham yesterday at Georgia Avenue and Harvard Street in Columbia Heights to announce plans to target hostile crews.

The police department is streamlining its gang intelligence unit, giving $1.2 million to community partnerships for gang intervention and spending $1.8 million to expand the ShotSpotter system, Lanier said.

"These crews are a very, very strong driving force behind the crime," Lanier said. "We have to get right to the heart of that."

ShotSpotter, a collection of gunshot recognition sensors, finds gunfire within seconds and alerts police to where the bullets were fired. D.C. police began using the technology last year in the 7th Police District, the southern half of the city east of the Anacostia River.


Halloween night was one of the most violent in Columbia Heights. Nine people were shot, including in a drive-by at 14th and Harvard streets NW that left four people wounded (note from 007inAfrica: this is one block from my house). A police car was half a block away and raced to the scene after an officer heard shots.


Columbia Heights community activist Thomas Kwesi Danda Smith said he has been frustrated by the police department's response to the violence.

"Police are reluctant to give us adequate coverage," Smith said. "We've been begging for foot patrols, for them to actually get to know residents, get to know business owners. They don't seem to have any ownership in the community or really care."

November 29, 2007

Apartment troubles

I love my apartment. I truly, truly do. I share it with an architect (female), and a guy who works with a construction company who is never home. Unfortunately, said guy is planning a move outside of the city and closer to his girlfriend.

We each have separate full-baths, so we never fight about whose nasty hair is clogging the sink. We live three blocks from the metro, Giant, dry-cleaners, and have at least 5 bus routes to services our area. It's located a mere 20 minutes by bikes from the White House.

We have a cool-assed dining/living space with tons of light, bohemian furniture, and a nice TV corner. We have the cutest bricked-in yard, a roof space with 2 barbecues, and lots of cooking utensils. To top it off, we have a washer and dryer, and a dishwasher.

So why is it that we've advertised for our house four times and are completely unsuccessful at getting a renter? Could it be that the rent is expensive for the area? It's not exactly Disneyworld around my neighborhood (see previous posts on shootings), but still, it's seems like it's a total renter's market out there and people are incredibly spoiled.

Meanwhile, we are going to have to go one month without renter soon and will have to split the cost of the room in two. I can't afford that!

I'm starting to think that I'm not cool enough, or I smell. Sigh, I'm going to start to buy strong bath salts.

November 26, 2007

Omigod it works!

Omigod, the blogging-from-your-email thing works! It's quick too!

I'm happy to report that the stupid fly is walking daaaangerously close to the sticky fly trap. D'oh, it avoided it again. Perhaps it is smarter than it looks? Perhaps it is extremely cautious to steer clear of its pathetic friends trapped in goo?

Trying this new thing...

So, I seem to have firewalls bigger than the Great Wall of China at work, and consequently have not been able to access my blog for the last 6 months. I am trying, instead, the blogging feature that allows one to blog from the email. We'll see if it works.

Let's see, it's been months, and what do I have to say? I have a fat fly dancing around in my halogen lamp and I periodically hope to see it land on the fly strip that hangs from it. My mouth is still burning from the reheated turkey soup (courtesy of Thanksgiving of course) from two days ago.

Wow, well, it all makes for a fascinating blog entry.