by Andrew Ramonas November 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment

"Vote Here" sign

Results are in for races to serve on the District’s Advisory Neighborhood commissions, the D.C. government’s lowest level of elected office.

The vote tallies, which are still unofficial, cover dozens of ANC contests in or near the Borderstan coverage area.

As of 12:26 a.m. today, the winners (in bold) are:


by Andrew Ramonas November 8, 2016 at 10:30 am 3 Comments


(Updated at 12:55 p.m.) More than 100 locals who live in or near the Borderstan coverage area are running for the lowest level of elected office in the D.C. government today.

In contested Advisory Neighborhood Commission races, we’re curious who got or will get your vote. You can weigh in through the polls below and in the comments.


by Andrew Ramonas August 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm 1 Comment

Vote Here sign(Updated at 5:55 p.m. Aug. 21) The 2016 ballot for the lowest level of elected office in the D.C. government is now almost final.

More than 100 locals who live in or near the Borderstan coverage area have submitted nominating petitions to serve as members of the District’s Advisory Neighborhood commissions. They had until yesterday to collect the signatures of 25 of their neighbors in their single member districts and bring the paperwork to the D.C. Board of Elections.

But before the ANC candidates officially can get on the ballot, they must make it through a petition challenge period, which lasts until Aug. 22.

The candidates for the Nov. 8 general election for now include:


by Tim Regan August 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

N Street Park

A community leader in Shaw is calling for the installation of new security cameras in response to a shooting that left one man dead and another injured near a public park last week.

Police said 19-year-olds Marcus Martin and Marc Butler shot and killed 19-year-old Derryk Johnson and wounded another man across the street from N Street Park on the 600 block of N Street NW last Wednesday night. The shooting was the result of a robbery during a dice game, according to the Washington Post.

Though both suspected shooters were arrested and charged with first-degree murder this week, a member of Shaw’s ANC 6E says District agencies can do more to stop violence near the park before it occurs.

“[Department of Parks and Recreation] and [Deptartment of General Services] need to step up to the plate and ensure that the public feels comfortable and safe there,” 6E vice chair Alexander Padro told Borderstan. “That process begins with installing security cameras that capture everything happening inside and outside the gates of the park.”

Last Wednesday’s shooting is the latest incident in a long history of criminal activity in or near the park, Padro explained.

“How many more lives must be lost before such a basic deterrent is put in place at the N Street Park?” Padro wrote in an email to a local listserv yesterday. “What matters more to our city: the cost of installing and maintaining these cameras, or the cost of human lives and the opportunity cost of loss of use of a park, quality of life, and freedom from fear for hundreds, if not thousands, of our citizens?”

Gwen Crump, spokeswoman for the DPR, said the city agency “has been exploring security enhancement options at N Street Park,” and plans to install a security turnstile to restrict access there this fall. The department is also mulling installing new cameras in the area.

“We are also reviewing other options, such as video monitoring, to help us achieve our goal of making every park a safe place for all D.C. residents,” Crump said.

Still, Padro said he hopes the District will at least decide to take action by the ANC’s next meeting in September.

“I hope that by then, DPR will have publicly agreed to install the security cameras the community has asked for without further action by public officials or loss of life,” Padro said.

by July 12, 2016 at 2:50 pm 6 Comments

"I Voted" sticker(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) The race to enter (or stay in) the lowest level of elected office in the D.C. government officially has begun.

More than 20 locals who live in or near the Borderstan coverage area yesterday picked up nominating petitions to serve as members of District’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.

Monday was the first day prospective candidates could get the nominating materials. They have until Aug. 10 to collect the signatures of 25 of their neighbors in their single member districts to get on the Nov. 8 ballot.

So far, the candidates include:


by Andrew Ramonas November 6, 2015 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Dacha mural (Photo via Facebook/DachaBeerGarden)

(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) Dacha in Shaw has negotiated a $42,500 fine with the District to resolve claims that it let too many customers inside its gates, its lawyer said today.

The beer garden at 1600 7th St. NW has until Dec. 4 to pay up, according to a D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board order published this week. The penalty is one of the largest fines ever leveled against a business in a matter before the board, said a representative of the panel and Andrew Kline, Dacha’s lawyer.

Dacha also will have its liquor license suspended for 21 days.

Allegations that Dacha increased its 126-person capacity without the board’s approval have dogged the beer garden this year. But Dacha’s owners agreed to the fine to avoid a lengthy appeals process and to focus on the future, even though they have “viable defenses to many of the charges,” Kline said.

“It will be quite painful for the owners,” he said. “But we expect the business to survive under current or new ownership.”

Earlier this week, Dacha secured the blessing of Shaw’s ANC to expand its outdoor capacity to 250 customers, which was less than what the beer garden’s management initially wanted. But the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has yet to decide whether it will give the approval Dacha needs for the expansion to take place.

The panel is expected to consider the Dacha-ANC 6E expansion agreement on Nov. 18.

Dmitri Chekaldin, who owns Dacha with Ilya Alter, told Washington City Paper in a story published today that they considered selling the beer garden to an unnamed German beer brand. But they scrapped the idea after ANC 6E endorsed an expansion.

“Selling the business was a last resort … If you have nowhere to go, then of course that would have been the course of action that we would have pursued,” Chekaldin told the newspaper. “My heart and soul went into this place, and so I’d rather not sell it.”

Photo via Facebook/DachaBeerGarden

by Andrew Ramonas November 4, 2015 at 12:25 pm 0

Dacha (Photo via Dacha)

Dacha in Shaw has received the blessing of the neighborhood’s ANC to proceed with an expansion that is less than what the beer garden’s management initially wanted.

ANC 6E last night backed a deal with Dacha (1600 7th St. NW) that would allow the beer garden to increase its outdoor capacity from 126 to 250 customers. At first, Dacha’s management looked to serve 350 people outdoors, drawing a protest from the commission over concerns about noise.

Under the agreement, Dacha also could serve 250 customers indoors, which is what the beer garden’s management has sought since this spring. Dacha’s management is looking to open an indoor space adjacent to the beer garden.

Although it wasn’t the 600-customer capacity Dacha’s management originally wanted for their indoor and outdoor space, the 500-person capacity was a “fair compromise,” the beer garden’s lawyer, Andrew Kline, said at the ANC meeting.

“There’s quite a bit that went into this agreement, quite a bit of thought, quite a bit of discussion,” he said.

The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board now must approve the agreement for it to take effect.

Photo via Dacha

by Tim Regan September 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

Community meeting flyer; Photo via Kids in the TriangleThree D.C. councilmembers, a handful of ANC 6E commissioners and two D.C. Police commanders will meet with Shaw residents discuss neighborhood crime prevention next week.

The meeting will take place at the Gibson Plaza Apartments (1301 7th Street NW) next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. In attendance will be councilmembers Phil Mendelson, Charles Allen and Anita Bonds; Department of Recreation Director Keith Anderson; First and Third District police commanders Jeff Brown and Jeffrey Carroll; and ANC 6E commissioners Marge Maceda, Alex Padro, Kevin Chapple, Frank Wiggins and Rachel Nigro.

The event is set to address issues such as the communication strategy between police districts, citizen advisory councils, D.C. agencies and Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office. Additionally, the meeting will cover how ANC commissioners and D.C. councilmembers can share crime data with other wards and neighborhood commissions, and residents will be able to offer up suggestions, air grievances and talk with local police officers.

The meeting will also walk residents through specific crime-prevention strategies such as security camera installation and what’s been implemented to keep children safe at the Kennedy Playground and at Shaw parks and schools.

“Our deepest condolences go to the families and friends of Ms. Tamara Gliss, Mr. Patrick Shaw and Mr. Matt Shlonsky,” reads a meeting flyer distributed over the Shaw listserv yesterday. “We owe it to their memories to ensure that no member [of] our community or our friends experience violence in our communities.”

Photo courtesy of Kids in the Triangle

by Jordan-Marie Smith July 8, 2015 at 10:45 am 2,616 20 Comments

(Updated at 3:41 p.m. to correct name misspellings, add additional statements from Dacha, and accurately reflect the ANC voting process)

Shaw beer garden Dacha has hit a roadblock in its proposed 600-person capacity expansion.

The 6E Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) voted to protest Dacha Beer Garden’s request for an expanded liquor license and capacity during its monthly meeting at Shaw Library last night.

In March, Dacha asked the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to allow it to expand its capacity to 600 people, up from its current capacity of 126.

The 3 to 2 vote — commissioner Alfreda Judd abstained — came after one of Dacha’s litigation attorneys, Scott Rome, and deputy general manager Nina Liggett gave a presentation to the packed basement room in Shaw Library.

Rome said Dacha is facing nine incident reports — eight for capacity violations — but emphasized the lengths co-owners Ilya Alter and Dmitri Chekaldin have taken to soundproof walls and reinforce fences.

“Even if we consider your application, how in the world are we going to have any control since you don’t obey what you are allowed to have now?” 6E05 Commissioner Marge Maceda responded. “How can we assume that you’re going to stick within the limits that you are able to have if we increase it?”

Both Rome and Liggett proposed that Dacha would build another fence and increase wall insulation for soundproofing if the 600-person capacity request was approved.

Some Shaw residents who showed up to the meeting publicly expressed concerns about what the increased capacity might mean for the neighborhood.

Katie Peters and husband Brian said that even though they support Dacha’s sound abatement efforts, the noise level already disturbs their sleeping infant and toddler and will only get worse if capacity increases.

But 7th Street NW resident David Abensour was not convinced the nightly noise comes from Dacha.

“My window is literally between Dacha and Uptown and I can tell you after midnight the noise doesn’t come from Dacha,” Abensour said.

Liggett said today by phone that she believes more than 50 people came out to support the beer garden, and that she wanted to address the commissioners’ concerns after the meeting, but was not able to due to time constraints.

“We wanted to give time for the community to talk,” Liggett says. “Unfortunately, I did not get to deliver a rebuttal at the end [because the library was closing].”

After hearing a long list of community comments — with several still in line to speak — 6E01 Commissioner Alexander Padro motioned to vote on the standing protest Dacha received from the commission’s ABC subcommittee last Thursday.

While Padro unwavered in his opposition, some anticipated upsetting their constituents.

“No one who represents a group of people wants to anger any segment of that group,” said 6E02 Commissioner Kevin Chapple. “But sometimes you have to.”

The council voted against Dacha’s proposed expansion by a vote of 3 to 2.

After the vote, Rome announced that Dacha would like to keep discussions between the business and residents open.

Rome also requested 6E ANC appoint a representative to work with Dacha when it comes to neighborhood issues and future expansion. He pointed out that Commissioner Padro repeatedly declined to speak with Dacha, to which Padro said he refused because Dacha would not work with the area’s civic association.

We hope to move forward,” Liggett told Borderstan today. “Our ABRA hearings are coming up. We’ll prove our side. We take decibel readings every night and we are well below what is D.C. law,” she said.

The ANC has until Aug. 3 to file a formal protest against Dacha’s application.

Mural photo via

by Tim Regan June 4, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

Photo courtesy of Ivy & Coney

Shaw bar Ivy & Coney’s rooftop expansion plans moved one step closer to fruition by winning an approval, pending voluntary agreement, from ANC 6E on Tuesday, says co-owner Josh Saltzman.

The proposed expansion at 1537 7th Street NW calls for the construction of a retractable glass roof, a full service kitchen and additional seating for 30 patrons.

If approved, the expansion could be done as early as August, though Saltzman estimates winning full approval might take two or more months.


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