by Tim Regan — October 19, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Bat dog, photo via Facebook / Shaw Dog ParkLocals will be able to play with canines in colorful costumes during Shaw Dog Park’s annual “Howl-O-Ween” event this Saturday at 11 a.m.

During the event, humans and pets alike will compete to win in three costume contests: best big dog, best little dog, and best owner/dog combo costumes. The party will also have refreshments, T-shirts and a raffle with prizes from local businesses.

Last year, Howl-O-Ween drew nearly 50 dogs and pet parents, according to Steve Oatmeyer, a member of the Shaw Dog Park board.

“We are hoping for a larger turnout this year,” Oatmeyer said. “With donations last year, we were able to replace the gate latches and repair the fence.”

Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward park improvements like removing dead trees, repainting tree boxes and getting a new fountain.

Photo courtesy of Shaw Dog Park

by Andrew Ramonas — October 19, 2016 at 3:45 pm 1 Comment

1600 block of Irving Street NW (Photo via Google Maps)A thief burst into a Mount Pleasant home and threw a woman inside onto her bed before he made off with thousands of dollars of electronics yesterday morning, police said.

The burglary happened on the 1600 block of Irving Street NW about 10:15 a.m. Tuesday.

The victim was in her bedroom when she heard a “commotion” downstairs, according to authorities. She went to investigate and found a man in her house.

The intruder then grabbed the woman by her shoulder and forced her into her bedroom, slamming her down on her bed.

“This was suppose to be a regular burglary,” the man said, according to a police report. “Nobody suppose to be home!”


by Tim Regan — October 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm 4 Comments

(Updated at 4:06 p.m.) A new business is slated to start selling leather journals and custom notebooks from a storefront in Dupont Circle.

Online store Jenni Bick Custom Journals is set to open a new brick-and-mortar location at 1300 Connecticut Ave. NW this December, according to co-owner Robby Bick. The new shop will occupy the space that formerly held Riccardi Clothier, which moved to Georgetown last June.

When the store opens, it will sell a variety of handmade journals, albums, notebooks and sketchbooks bound in leather and other materials, Bick said. The store will also carry items from larger manufacturers such as Moleskine and Epica.

“We’ll have far and away the best selection of journals, photo albums and sketchbooks that you’ll be able to find, certainly in the area, but probably anywhere,” Bick said.

Additionally, the store will carry pens, cards, and stationery, and will have a hand-operated embossing machine for custom orders, he added.

Bick, who lives in Martha’s Vineyard with his wife and company co-owner, Jenni, is no stranger to living and working in D.C. In the ’90s, he operated Adams Morgan bookstore Bick’s Books. He’s also managed or worked at a number of book and record stores in the District over the years.

For the Bicks, the new store will serve as a kind of homecoming.

“Both Jenni and I grew up here, and for family reasons, wanted to return,” Bick said. “My first job was in my Uncle’s book and record store at 1342 Connecticut Avenue, the same block we are moving into, back in 1969.”

by Andrew Ramonas — October 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm 2 Comments

Life of Riley (Photo via Facebook/Life of Riley)

Pampered pooches are set to have the opportunity to sleep like a president, or at least like a first family’s dog, at a high-end pet hotel coming to Adams Morgan next year.

Boutique pet care business Life of Riley is planning to open a dog daycare and hotel with a “presidential suite” at 2222 18th St. NW in March, said Paul Abbott, who owns the D.C.-area company with his wife, Laura. The space most recently was home to Sawah Diner.

The Abbotts haven’t finalized plans for the suite. But the room and all of the hotel’s other suites will be “very fancy,” Paul Abbot told Borderstan today. At its only location in Rockville, Md., Life of Riley has suites with heated floors, Italian marble and crystal chandeliers, ranging from $65 to $95 per night.

“We will go all out on the fit out of all our suites,” he said.

In addition to boarding dogs, Life of Riley will provide grooming and a chauffeur service, which brings canines to and from their homes.

Abbott said he and his wife are “very eager” to expand to the District.

“We will be meticulously planning the most efficient design, layout and materials to use in the Adams Morgan property to best serve the community,” he said. “We will ensure our Adams Morgan location is homely, safe, clean, and staffed with professional and personable dog lovers.”

Photo via Facebook/Life of Riley

by Peter Tragos — October 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment

Legal Review PriceBenowitz

Peter Tragos is a Florida personal injury attorney who represents clients in cases such as wrongful death, medical malpractice, and car accidents.

More than five years after a disturbing video first raised questions regarding the use of excessive force by D.C.’s law enforcement, the District’s legal definition of what constitutes “assaulting a police officer'” has finally been narrowed.

The video, which went viral in 2011, showed D.C. transit police roughly dragging a homeless man named Dwight Harris out of his wheelchair. The shocking footage shows two officers bodily lifting Harris out of his chair before dropping him face-first onto a metal sidewalk grate.

Harris was initially charged with assaulting a police officer, which seems patently ridiculous in light of the arrest footage. While the charges were dropped in the ensuing public outcry, under the previously broad statutory definition of assault they may have resulted in a conviction. Under the prior law, one who merely, “impedes, intimidates, or interferes with a law enforcement officer,” could be found guilty of assault. Mary Cheh’s bill, signed into law in March, greatly narrows that definition.

Harris’ videotaped arrest not only drew the public’s attention to the questionable use of force by D.C. law enforcement, but also prompted a groundbreaking joint investigation into the numerous police assault cases that are routinely prosecuted in the District. WAMU teamed with the Investigative Reporting Workshop to analyze two years of court records relating to roughly 2,000 charges of assaulting a police officer.

The final report and audio documentary, titled “Assault On Justice,” made clear that black residents were being charged disproportionately with the crime of assaulting police, often without being charged for any other underlying offense.

Although roughly half of the District’s population are black, 90% of the charges brought during the period examined by the investigation team were against black residents. Further, those accused of assaulting police required medical treatment more often than the officers themselves.

The report also compared the rate at which the charge of assaulting a police officer was brought in D.C., finding that the District uses this charge nearly four times more often than other comparably-sized urban areas.

Together, the results raised serious questions regarding the possibility that law enforcement was taking advantage of the overly broad statutory definition to cover up instances involving the unnecessary use of force. The findings were so damning that Police Chief Cathy Lanier herself urged reforming the definition of this crime, a change that has finally come to fruition.

The Police and Criminal Discovery Reform Amendment Act of 2015, first introduced by Ward 3 D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh last year, reforms many elements of criminal procedure in the District. Notably, it removes the prior broad language found in the definition of the misdemeanor offense of assaulting a police officer, which many felt would be more appropriate to a charge of resisting arrest.

Under the previous definition of section 22-405, D.C. Code, anyone who, “without justifiable and excusable cause, assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with a law enforcement officer,” could end up spending 180 days in jail, paying a $1,000 fine, or both. The new bill narrowed this definition by creating two separate misdemeanor offenses for assaulting a police officer, while keeping the same consequences for a conviction.

Under the new law, the charge of assaulting a police officer can be brought against any person who, “knowingly assaults a police officer.” In addition, the bill added language stating that a person, “may not intentionally resist a lawful arrest.”

While both definitions seem simplistic, the clarity provided by the amended law substantially narrows the range of behaviors that could result in a misdemeanor conviction. The inclusion of the modifier in the prohibition on resisting a lawful arrest places some burden onto law enforcement to ensure that there is a valid reason for stopping with a citizen to begin with.

Under the prior language, any interference with an officer engaged “in the performance of their official duties” met the definition of assault. As the footage of Harris’ arrest shows, the realm of what some officers consider to be within their official duties may require further clarification.

Borderstan contributor and law firm sponsor Price Benowitz LLP. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author — our contributor and law firm sponsor Price Benowitz LLP — and do not necessarily reflect the views of Borderstan.

by Tim Regan — October 19, 2016 at 10:45 am 1 Comment

A huge mixed-use development could rise from the site of a historic landmark in Dupont Circle.

Developer Marx Realty seeks to redevelop a lot at 2200 P St. NW in order to build a new nine-story mixed-use development, according to plans shared with Borderstan today. The lot currently holds a Sunoco gas station that has a historic limestone building known as the Embassy Gulf Service Station.

As first reported by UrbanTurf, the developer looks to move the historic landmark to make way for its 34-unit development. The historic building would be restored and turned into a space for retail, the plans show. The development would also include two stories of underground parking.

More about the planned project, which is slated to go before D.C.’s Commission of Fine Arts tomorrow:

The proposed development is comprised of approximately 59,000 gross square feet above grade with approximately 20,000 gross square feet of below grade parking. The program includes approximately 56,000 sf of residential equating to approximately 34 units and 3,000 sf of retail space.

The site is currently developed with a one-story, neoclassical gas station built of limestone and completed in 1936 for the Gulf Oil Corporation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a contributing structure to the Dupont Circle Historic District.

The applicant proposes to relocate the structure on the site and build an attached nine-story residential building. The gas station interior will be renovated for retail use and the exterior, which is largely intact, will be restored. The site will be remediated and underground storage tanks will be removed.

h/t ANC 2B commissioner Daniel Warwick

by Andrew Ramonas — October 19, 2016 at 9:50 am 0

Adams Morgan Fright Night (Photo via Facebook/Adams Morgan BID)

The original “Ghostbusters,” “Beetlejuice” or another movie with spooky characters could get a free outdoor showing in Adams Morgan next week.

The Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District is scheduled to have a movie screening during its family-friendly “Adams Morgan Fright Night” at Kalorama Park (1875 Columbia Road NW) on Thursday, Oct. 27.

The organization is letting locals vote online on which film should play. In addition to “Ghostbusters” (1984) and “Beetlejuice” (1988), the movies include “Hocus Pocus” (1993) and “The Addams Family” (1991).

The event, which is set to run from 6 to 9 p.m., also is slated to include a costume contest.

Photo via Facebook/Adams Morgan BID

by Tim Regan — October 19, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

STOCK One Hour Cleaning in Dupont

Cops Nab Man Suspected of Firing Gun Downtown — D.C. Police have arrested a man who allegedly fired a gun several times near Franklin Square last week. Though nobody was injured in the incident, several people ducked for cover when shots rang out. [Washington Post]

Restaurant Nora Chef Retiring — Organic food pioneer Nora Poullion announced yesterday she plans to retire and sell her eponymous restaurant at 2132 Florida Ave. NW. [Washington Post; DCistEater D.C.]

REI to Open Huge Store in NoMa Friday — Here’s your chance to take one final look inside. [UrbanTurf; Washington Business Journal]

How the Sausage Gets Made — The half-smokes at Ben’s Chili Bowl come from a meat processing plant in West Baltimore. [Baltimore Sun]

What to Expect From The Line in Adams Morgan — When Adams Morgan’s newest hotel finally opens its doors next year, it will bring with it several restaurants from Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto and Spike Gjerde of Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen. Here’s what’s in store. [Washington Post]

RIP, Old Bear — A geriatric bear at the National Zoo has died. Workers euthanized Hana, a 21-year-old sloth bear, yesterday. [National Zoo]

Erik Bruner-Yang Creating Salad for Sweetgreen — Patrons at the fast casual salad eatery will soon be able to order a salad created by Maketto’s Erik Bruner-Yang. The salad will include roasted chicken, tofu, wild rice and ginger slaw, among other ingredients. [Washingtonian]

Stuffed Chicken Returned to Crisp Kitchen + Bar — The Bloomingdale restaurant’s stolen chicken mascot has returned. [Eater D.C.]

Columbia Room Among Playboy’s ‘Best Bars’ — Playboy readers have named the newly reopened bar among the top 10 bars in the U.S. (This link is safe for work.) [Playboy]

by Tim Regan — October 18, 2016 at 5:00 pm 2 Comments

Rowhouses in Logan Circle(Updated at 4:37 p.m. Wednesday) Logan Circle residents will be able to get to know some of the people running for office in their neighborhood during a public forum on Wednesday.

The Logan Circle Community Association will host a “candidate forum” at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle NW) Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.

Seven candidates up for election next month are slated to take questions from moderator Tom Sherwood and members of the audience.

“In advance of the November election, local candidates will discuss with residents their positions on issues of concern, followed by questions from the community,” organizers said.

The following candidates will participate in the forum:

  • Jack Evans, Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember
  • Jason Forman, ANC 2F01
  • John Guggenmos ANC 2F02
  • Pepin Tuma and Alex Graham, ANC 2F03
  • John Fanning ANC 2F04
  • Ron Rubin ANC 2F05

More information on the upcoming election can be found on the District Board of Elections website.

by Tim Regan — October 18, 2016 at 3:45 pm 4 Comments

(Updated 4:50 p.m.) A video of a large rodent scurrying around inside a Dupont burger restaurant is making the rounds online.

The video, posted above, shows a rat running across a table inside the Dupont Z-Burger (2157 P St. NW) while a crowd of off-camera onlookers shouts and shrieks.

“This is f—–g disgusting,” says one person.

“We need the health inspector!” and “are you serious?” two other people shout.


by Andrew Ramonas — October 18, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Hudson & Crane expansion construction (Photo via Facebook/Hudson & Crane)

(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) A self-described “urban design studio” that sells furniture and home accessories in Adams Morgan is getting bigger.

Hudson & Crane at 1781 Florida Ave. NW is set to expand into the former And Beige space next door by December, the shop posted on its Facebook page yesterday. And Beige closed earlier this year.

The enlargement will give Hudson & Crane about 2,500 square feet, about 1,100 more square feet than it has now, store spokesman David Hoffman said in an email.

“We’re expanding in part because of the opportunity that came up when And Beige closed but also because of the incredibly positive reception we’ve received from the Adams Morgan/U Street corridor, and DC at large,” Hoffman said. “We’ve built up an incredibly loyal base of both residential and commercial clients who have amplified our business through their own word of mouth and interior design services we’ve provided for them as well as the every day walk ins.”

The store opened in 2014.

Photo via Facebook/Hudson & Crane

by Tim Regan — October 18, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

2016 Pie Fest flyerAmateur bakers and pie-lovers are set meet at an Adams Morgan bar this weekend for an annual pie party.

The fifth “Pie Fest” kicks off at Bourbon (2321 18th St. NW) this Sunday at 1 p.m., organizers said in a press release.

“How does it work? Bring a homemade pie to compete for prizes, or just come to eat and be merry,” the release reads.

Attendees can gorge themselves on pie, then vote for their favorites in the following categories: apple, fruit, nuts, chocolate, savory, “piepourri.” The winners of each category will receive prizes, organizers said.

Tickets cost $15 for competitors and $25 for eaters. All proceeds from the event will go toward the Jayna Troxel Murray Foundation.

Photo courtesy of Pie Fest

by Andrew Ramonas — October 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

A man sought in the theft of an Amazon package from the front stoop of a Shaw house has appeared in surveillance footage, police said.

The crime occurred on the 1700 block of 4th Street NW about noon Oct. 10.

Video police distributed today in connection with the theft shows a man wearing a red bandana and a backpack strolling up to a house. At some point off camera, he took off his bag. The man then walked back into view while putting on his backpack again.

A resident of the house reported losing two children’s bicycle helmets in the theft, according to authorities.

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 YouTube/Metropolitan Police Department

by Tim Regan — October 18, 2016 at 10:15 am 4 Comments

A task force composed of members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, D.C. Police and D.C. Fire is looking for the person who allegedly torched a vehicle parked in an alley in NoMa last weekend.

The suspicious car fire happened behind a building on the 200 block of K St. NE last Saturday around 2 a.m., according to D.C. Fire spokesman Doug Buchanan. The vehicle that caught fire was a gray 1989 E350 ambulance.

A security camera pointed at the alley appears to have captured the moment the fire started. In the video, first shared by neighborhood blog PoPville, a hooded man can be seen tampering with a parked vehicle before walking away. The car burst into flames roughly 20 minutes later, the footage shows.

About a half hour later, firefighters showed up and extinguished the blaze.

“The investigation initially led to an undetermined cause,” Buchanan said. “However, after the owner of the vehicle provided video footage of an unknown person setting the auto on fire, the determination was changed to incendiary.”

The torched ambulance reportedly was one used by a local nonprofit:

D.C. Fire and EMS is urging anyone who has more information about the fire to call its arson tip line at 202-673-2776.

by Tim Regan — October 18, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Tenleytown Trash dumpster in Dupont

Dupont Bar Crawl Not Down With Clowns — The company behind Nightmare on M Street, the Halloween bar crawl scheduled to return to Dupont Circle on Oct. 29, has banned creepy clown costumes in light of recent events. [Washingtonian]

DNC Dedicates Memorial Bike Rack to Honor Murdered Staffer — The Democratic National Committee is dedicating a memorial bike rack outside of its headquarters in honor Seth Rich, the 27-year-old staffer gunned down in Bloomingdale in July. [Fox 5]

Airbnb is Big Business in D.C. — D.C. residents have earned more than $53 million using the home-sharing platform over the past year, according to a new report. Airbnb hotspots in the District include Dupont, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights and near Capitol Hill. [Washington City Paper]

Car Torched in NoMa — Someone apparently lit a car on fire in NoMa last week. The attack was captured by a security camera in the alley near 3rd and K Street NE. [PoPville]


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