Posts Tagged ‘column’

Zone Defense

It took just 20 minutes from the time Mayor Vince Gray announced his planned overhaul of the city’s public school assignment system last Thursday for the boos to start raining down on the DC Urban Moms and Dads online discussion forum. “Well, that sucks,” was the first reaction, from a Crestwood resident posting anonymously. “Just [...]

Why Did Developer WC Smith Buy Up Most of Congress Heights?

A walk along the District’s far southeastern edge reveals much that wasn’t there 20 years ago. Heading eastward from the Congress Heights Metro station on Alabama Avenue SE, the first stop is the Shops at Park Village, anchored by a Giant that became Ward 8’s first full-service supermarket since the last century when it opened [...]

Why D.C. Is About to Have Even Less Affordable Housing

They called it a discount. Trayawn Brown had lived at the Mount Vernon Plaza apartments at 930 M St. NW for 10 years when she received a letter from the building managers on Nov. 16, 2013, informing her that she had a month and a half to choose among three unsavory options: sign a new [...]

Uppers and Downers

Denis Suski gestures at his backyard, at the ample greenery and the picnic table and the two yellow hand-shaped chairs that match his house’s yellow back walls. “This is my concern,” he says, “is losing things like this.”
All around him, things like that are being lost, at least to the sun’s rays. Throughout his neighborhood [...]

Rallying Cry for D.C.’s NEMBYs: “No Embassies In My Back Yard”

The National Capital Planning Commission meeting last Thursday began like all of the commission’s meetings do: with a pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. The NCPC has a funny sort of dual role. In charge of city planning for the District before the 1973 Home Rule Act transferred some [...]

Bull in Chinatown: Developer Tells Section 8 Tenants to Pay Up or Get Out

Last month, word spread among the residents of the Museum Square Apartments about a notice posted in the building informing them that they’d have to come up with $250 million or lose their homes. It wasn’t a ransom note or a mob warning, but to the tenants in the Mount Vernon Triangle residence, it might [...]

A Streetcar Named Misfire

It began, as so many budget fights do, with a line of jargon. “The Council’s plan,” explained the D.C. Council’s Committee of the Whole in its report last week on Council Chairman Phil Mendelson’s budget proposal, “adjusts the upcoming proposed streetcar paygo transfer from a fixed to a floating base year.”
That adjustment, inscrutable to all [...]

The Mold War

In 2012, shortly after returning to D.C. from medical anthropology fieldwork in Peru for her graduate program, Clare Kelley was diagnosed with kidney stones. She had what was supposed to be routine surgery, but instead of bouncing back as expected, she needed an additional four operations that year.
Things kept getting worse from there. That October, [...]

Where Are D.C.’s Homeless Families Living Now That D.C. Doesn’t Have to House Them?

After two months living with her mother, Sarah Drawn would much rather be back in the homeless shelter.
It’s not so much that living in Capitol Heights, Md., sometimes means a three-hour commute to her job on H Street NE, including a pit stop to drop her 1-year-old son off at daycare in Deanwood. Or that [...]

Why Is Overhauling the Park Morton Public Housing Complex So Difficult?

Last week, I met Adrianne Todman for an activity she wouldn’t have advised 10 or 15 years ago: a walk around the Park Morton public-housing complex in the Park View neighborhood, just off Georgia Avenue NW.
“Park was a tough, tough site,” recalls Todman, the executive director of the D.C. Housing Authority. “I would not have [...]

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