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by Borderstan Contributor — July 28, 2016 at 1:45 pm 4 Comments

Workers at Garrison Elementary School

Borderstan periodically publishes opinion pieces from our readers. Have something you want to share with Borderstan’s readers? Email us at [email protected].

by Elizabeth Nicoletti

In January of 2015, a last-minute parent fundraising campaign spearheaded by a resourceful singe-mother raised $2,000 in just 3 weeks from Garrison Elementary families. Donations brought in Capital Movement, a DC-based, women-owned dance studio that understood our financial limitations. Students had two hip-hop classes a week, and in June, parents attended their yearend recital.

For many watching, it was heartwarming and hilarious as rambunctious preschoolers tried hard to follow the dance steps. For me as a parent, the recital provided a sense of peace. Peace in the fact I worked and, while I did, that my son was learning and being exposed to experiences that I alone could never provide.

As a working mom, I know I am not alone. Caring for children after the 3:15 pm school day is a source of psychological and financial stress for many. With 48 percent of the school population living in shelters or classified as “at risk” by DCPS, there are parents dealing with a far more worrying reality than I know. Parents who work or study often grapple with the costs and benefits of their life decisions on their children’s well-being.

Garrison has a chance to solve this. The video above may not show it, but getting to this well-choreographed routine was no easy path.

After losing a grant for aftercare funding in October of 2015 with little notice, Garrison students were left with low coverage ratios and zero programming. The principal and the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) worked to patch a program together to finish the year. For the 2016-2017 school year, the PTO led an effort with the school administration to find a private aftercare provider that ensured better ratios, safety and enrichment. We look forward to welcoming Apollo After School in August.

To ensure equitable access to high-quality aftercare, we have launched a community crowdfunding campaign. Our PTO website will recognize local businesses and community members that participate as champions for education.

Funding will go to programming like dance classes and to scholarships for working, low-income families. Families qualifying for Medicaid will be able to access the program without paying the monthly fee, however many families are caught in the middle. They earn too much to qualify for a DCPS subsidy but not enough to pay programs costs.

An enriching aftercare program will further transform Garrison. Aftercare is part of the virtuous cycle that keeps school enrollment rates up, enhances school day programming and can even lead to higher test scores — Garrison’s core challenges.

Additional money raised will provide enrichment for older grades, such as field trips to Philadelphia for 4th graders or tablets to help kids with autism learn in our special education classes. Garrison has one of the highest percentage of special needs students in DCPS. 

If you pass by Garrison elementary on S Street, you will notice bulldozers, cement piled high and men in hard hats sweating in the summer heat. The ground is literally breaking at Garrison. And for good reason. After a lengthy political process, our modernization dollars arrived and are hard at work.

But the challenge of improving this school does not end with a modern facility. We are reaching out to the community to break new ground. It seems only fair to strengthen the elementary school at the epicenter of so much social and economic change. The ripple effects of doing so will benefit far more than just the students. The more schools thrive, the more the communities that support them thrive too.

I invite you to be a part of this virtuous cycle. Please join us in our campaign to bring equitable, high-quality education to your neighborhood.

Tax-deductible donations can also be made by Venmo to [email protected] or check to Garrison PTO, Garrison Elementary School, 1200 S St. NW.

Nicoletti is a Garrison Elementary School parent.

Photo via Facebook/GarrisonES

by Tim Regan — July 26, 2016 at 4:05 pm 2 Comments

Update on Wednesday, July 27 — The dog burned in yesterday’s fire is “doing well,” D.C. Fire and EMS officials said today. “Lucy, an 11 year old Rat Terrier burned escaping the 12th St fire, is doing well after we had rushed her to a vet,” officials said in a tweet.

Read our original story below:

An apartment building caught fire in Logan Circle this afternoon.

The fire started on the roof an apartment on the 1300 block of 12th St. NW and spread to the third floor just before 4 p.m., according to D.C. Fire Chief Gregory Dean.

A plume of smoke could be seen rising from the apartment building shortly after the blaze began. The smoke could be seen as far away as some parts of Arlington.

Crews could be seen using a tower ladder to douse the flames. The fire was reported knocked down just before 4:40 p.m. today.

No tenants were injured in the two-alarm blaze, according to D.C. Fire and EMS officials, but a dog was “badly burned” and taken to an animal hospital.

Several streets across the area were closed to traffic while crews fought the fire:

Photos courtesy of Ben Balter

by Tim Regan — July 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm 0

The head of Logan Circle’s neighborhood commission will cast a vote to nominate Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention later today.

John Fanning, chair of ANC 2F, will be among D.C.’s 44 delegates to cast a vote during today’s roll call at the convention in Philadelphia. Fanning is joined by D.C. Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau and Jack Evans, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Muriel Bowser.

During the televised roll call vote, which is slated to begin a little after 4 p.m. today, delegates from across the country will vote to nominate the next Democratic presidential candidate in a largely symbolic contest between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Clinton.

Fanning, who was elected as a Clinton delegate along with Evans, Nadeau and other local figures in May, said it’s a dream come true to participate in a such an important event.

“It’s something that I always wanted to do and I finally have achieved as a community activist and a community leader,” Fanning said. “And it’s a historic moment. We’re electing the first female to a major office.”

Though Fanning told us he won’t be front and center during the voting process, those watching at home might be able to spot him on camera “toward the left of the District of Columbia marker.”

“I’m just honored and grateful that I was elected to represent D.C.,” Fanning said. “It’s quite an experience that I will share more of when I return home.”

Locals can watch the convention live for free on the Democratic National Convention’s Youtube page.

by Andrew Ramonas — July 22, 2016 at 2:55 pm 0

Pret a Manger at 1432 K St. NW (Photo via Google Maps)A woman sleeping outside a downtown eatery pulled a knife on another woman who disturbed her slumber yesterday morning, police said.

The incident happened in front of the Pret a Manger at 1432 K St. NW about 7:15 a.m. Thursday.

The sleeper woke up when a woman asked her to leave, authorities said.

“I’m going to kill you b-tch,” the woman who was sleeping said, while flashing a knife, according to police.

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by Tim Regan — July 19, 2016 at 7:50 pm 0

Car fire in Logan Circle

A car caught fire in Logan Circle and shut down nearby streets earlier this evening.

The fire started on the 1000 block of P St. NW earlier this evening. Authorities shut down both sides of P Street to battle the blaze.

It was immediately unclear whether anyone was injured in the fire. We’ll update this story when we learn more.

h/t to Borderstan reader Allie for the photo

by Tim Regan — July 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm 1 Comment

900 N St NW, photo via Google Street ViewThree thieves with a gun beat up and robbed a man in Shaw early yesterday morning, police said.

The violent armed robbery happened on the 900 block of N St. NW at about 1:11 a.m. Sunday morning, according to authorities. The area is about one block west from several popular Shaw restaurants and bars.

Three men were walking along the sidewalk when they were approached by three suspects, authorities said. One of the suspects asked if the men had any marijuana or money. When one of the men replied “no,” the suspect pulled out a black handgun and pointed it at him. The two other suspects then hit the man in the face, knocking him to the ground.

Two of the suspects kicked the man repeatedly before making away with his wallet, $105 and a D.C. ID.

The three robbers were last seen heading north on the 1300 block of 10th St. NW, police said.

Additionally, someone with a knife tried to rob a cyclist in Logan Circle late Friday, police said.

A robber with a “large knife” told a cyclist to hand over their bike and money on the 1500 block of P St. NW around 10:45 p.m. Friday night, according to authorities. But the cyclist simply rode away unharmed.

Authorities did not provide a description about the suspect.

by Borderstan.com — July 1, 2016 at 8:50 am 0

(Updated at 9:30 a.m.) A trash truck collided with a Metro bus in Logan Circle this morning.

The crash happened near the intersection of Vermont Ave. and 11th St. NW around 7:30 a.m. this morning, according Metro spokesman Richard Jordan.

Jordan said the bus was stopped when a trash truck drove its dumpster into it, shattering a window.

Nobody was injured in the collision, Jordan and D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Doug Buchanan confirmed.

by Alyse Mier — June 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

A sea of white, blue and yellow T-shirts has filled the lawn of a Logan Circle church as a tribute to people shot and killed in the D.C. area last year.

Like tombstones, hundreds of shirts at 15th Street Presbyterian Church (1701 15th St. NW) stand tall for each gun-related death in 2015. Each shirt has the name, age and date of death of a victim.

Of the 202 shirts on display, 120 white shirts are for the District, 68 blue shirts are for Maryland and 14 yellow shirts are for Northern Virginia.

“Each one is a human being, a child of God,” according to an information sheet left alongside the memorial. “Each one deserves to be remembered.”

(more…)

by Andrew Ramonas — June 15, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

1300 block of 12th Street NW (Photo via Google Maps)Two gun-wielding thieves shot at a man they robbed in Logan Circle early this morning, police said.

The armed robbery happened on the 1300 block of 12th Street NW about 2:30 a.m.

The victim was walking about two blocks southeast of the Logan Circle NW traffic circle when two men came up to him from behind and flashed handguns, police said.

“I need money,” one of the men told the victim, according to authorities.

(more…)

by Tim Regan — June 10, 2016 at 10:05 am 0

(Updated at 12:03 p.m.) Garrison Elementary School students and their families have an extra reason to celebrate today.

The D.C. Council voted to pass a ceremonial resolution introduced by Councilmember Jack Evans earlier this week to officially designate June 10, 2016, as a day to honor the school and its namesake, abolitionist and journalist William Lloyd Garrison.

“The staff, parents, and neighbors of Garrison Elementary have created a fabulous and supportive community at the school that I was happy to recognize with a D.C. Council resolution,” Evans said in a statement to Borderstan. “Garrison Day was a huge success and will continue to be a wonderful tradition as we work to modernize and strengthen Garrison Elementary.”

The school at 1200 S St. NW holds a “Garrison Day” event each year with games, food and activities. “This has been an ongoing tradition at our school,” said Garrison PTO treasurer Ayako Sato.

Read a draft of the resolution below:

(more…)

by Tim Regan — June 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

06.13-Pride-37

It’s the most colorful time of the year.

Marchers are slated to cheer, dance and sing their way down streets in Dupont and Logan Circle Saturday afternoon as part of this year’s Capital Pride Parade.

The parade will begin at 22nd and P streets NW at approximately 4:30 p.m., according to organizers. This year’s parade includes 180 groups made up of floats, vehicles and locals on foot, all led by grand marshall Leslie Jordan.

Mayor Bowser, members of the D.C. Council and other local officials will march in the parade and participate in the festivities.

If you’re looking to catch the festivities this year, take note: Attendees usually claim spots along the route hours in advance to get an up-close look at the floats and to increase their chances of catching beads and candy.

(more…)

by Borderstan.com — June 8, 2016 at 9:25 am 3 Comments

A decades-old auto shop in Logan Circle has apparently closed its doors for good.

Mercedes & Volvo House, the longtime garage located at 1525 15th St. NW, appears to have shuttered recently. Several readers wrote to us last night and this morning to report that the auto shop had closed its doors, possibly due to an eviction:

The shop appeared empty when a Borderstan reporter visited earlier today. Likewise, phone calls to the shop went unanswered earlier this morning.

We’ll update this story if we learn more about why the business may have closed.

by Tim Regan — June 3, 2016 at 2:40 pm 0

Whitman-Walker Rendering

The plan to redevelop Whitman-Walker Health’s former home at 14th and R streets NW has won the approval of the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).

The board’s members yesterday voted unanimously to approve the plan, which includes the preservation of the center’s original Elizabeth Taylor Center at 1701 14th St. NW as well as a new mixed-use development that would span 155,000 square feet and six stories.

Logan Circle’s ANC 2F last month voted to support the project. John Fanning, who chairs ANC 2F, testified in support of the new development.

“Whitman Walker has been an integral part of our community for many years,” Fanning told the HPRB. “I think they did an outstanding job.”

Though the board’s members had a few suggestions regarding the building’s materials and the roof of the original Elizabeth Taylor Center, they seemed in their comments mostly pleased by the current design.

Construction on the development will likely begin late next year, according to a press release from Whitman-Walker Health, and could be completed as early as 2020.

by Andrew Ramonas — May 27, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

A man sought in the robbery of an athletic clothing store in Logan Circle this week has appeared in surveillance footage, according to authorities.

The robbery happened at the Lululemon Athletica at 1461 P St. NW just before 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Video police distributed yesterday in connection with the crime shows a man with a white sweatshirt and blue jeans walking around the store. At one point in the footage, the man wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to a cashier. He then got behind the sales counter, took an iPhone and grabbed a cash drawer before leaving.

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by Tim Regan — May 26, 2016 at 3:55 pm 0

Logan Circle Park in 2010Logan Circle park will come alive with flags, speeches and music from a brass band on Memorial Day.

The Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) will hold a free celebration in the park that includes an appearance by newly appointed U.S. Army Secretary Eric Fanning, the singing of the national anthem from the Washington Capitals’ Bob McDonald and music from a brass quintet.

The celebration will begin at 1 p.m. with a presentation of the colors from the junior officer training corps, followed by the singing of the national anthem, a religious invocation, and then a presentation from historian and author Gary Ecelbarger.

Later, Fanning will lead a wreath-laying ceremony at the statue of U.S. Civil War general John A. Logan. Fanning, who was only officially confirmed to the position last week, is the first openly gay head of a military branch in the U.S., as reported by the Washington Post.

Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic blankets, lunches — and yes, even dogs — to the event.

More information from Logan Circle’s ANC 2F:

(more…)

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