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July 2016 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was held at Gingras Ecumenical Center, 1419 V Street NW
Introductions / Etc.
Members present included Chris Young, Stewart Bunn, Christina Parascandola, and Daniel Hardy. Guests included residents Dorothea Whitaker, and Jessica Rose, and special guests Lt. Christopher Moore of MDP 3rd District, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, and Tom Fazzini of her office.
Lieutenant Christopher Moore, Metropolitan Police Department, 3rd District (PSA 305)
Lieutenant Moore introduced himself, provided an updates on recent public safety and crime trends in our neighborhood and on policing strategies, provided some tips, and answered questions. Lt. Moore has worked in the 5th and 4th Districts before joining the 3rd District, where he oversees activity in PSA 305.
He notes that activity is greater on weekends, associated with activity in the U Street and 14th Street clubs. There is always a summer uptick in crime, and theft from autos and robberies are issues on weekends. The nightlife units remain active during those times. Lt. Moore noted that likely because of those units, and the existence of more witnesses on U Street, violent incents and robberies seem to occur north and south of U Street (more so to the south, for some reason). Also considering the nightlife units, Lt. Moore has instructed his officers to move off of U Street into the surrounding streets. Chris and members thanked him for this deployment, which we have asked about in previous meetings.
Remain alert. During the past year there has been a slight uptick in incidents involving guns (7 to this point last year, 10 this year), as well as in robberies with force and violence. Trees and shadows make it easier for perpetrators to hide on side streets. Lt. Moore said that he instructs his offers to present themselves to everyone entering an alley late at night, if only as a reminder, as that may unsafe for an inebriated person leaving an establishment. He stated that perpetrators of robbery generally work in groups of two or more, including at least one lookout.
The midnight summer curfew for juveniles is in force. DC has no loitering law, but groups may be in violation of an “obstruction” if blocking passage on a sidewalk. Lt. Moore also stated that the nighttime noise law can be a useful tool for officers. Finally, he reminded residents to call 911 with safety concerns; dispatchers can effectively prioritize urgent emergencies.
Members asked questions about traffic enforcement (pedestrian safety appears to be declining at some busy intersections) and about potential over use of sirens. We passed on thanks for improved enforcement of no parking rules in the 14th St. bike lanes. Last, several members wanted to thank Lt. Moore, and our professional police force, for their professionalism and good work. Particularly in the context of recent national events. To put in a good word, contact Diane Groomes.
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, Ward 1
Councilmember Nadeau provided updates from the Ward. The recent multi-day power outage affecting the corner of 14th and V Streets, in particular the Union Row building, was a major event. The Councilmember reported that PEPCO will conduct a post-mortem investigation.
CM Nadeau also provided information about Meridian Hill Park. Maintenance has been poor this summer due to a lapsed contract for mowing, etc.; the National Park Service (NPS) has struggled to keep up minimum maintenance with spare capacity from nearby parks. The bathrooms are working. NPS will look at providing more water sources for visitors. The fountain pumps have been out of service, but should be restored before the end of the summer.
The Council is in recess. The end of the term included action on increasing the DC minimum wage, procurement policies, and adding numbers to the police force. She noted that the security camera rebate program is ongoing. In more local news, Portner Place financing was approved about a month and a half ago [note: author unclear what this entailed]. CM Nadeau stated she is interested in maintaining the affordable affording that already exists in Ward 1, such as Columbia Heights Village.
ABRA License Renewals / Updates
Residents of Union Row have been leading negotiations with the establishment’s owner. 
Florida Avenue
We have seen press reports of a beer hall on Florida Avenue in the Manhattan Laundry building, but have not seen any notice of application from ABRA.
New Business / Announcements
Next meeting:
September 20, 2016

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