The Lincoln Theater, courtesy of Mr. T in DC

This is just getting to be too much. The Lincoln Theater, on the National Register of Historic Places, is in danger of closing. While perhaps not surprising, given the Lincoln Theater has relied on funds from the DC government to stay alive and hasn’t been profitable, it’s still a blow to the area. Jim Graham and theater leadership have had emergency meetings regarding the theater’s funding and the feasibility of it staying open. Graham announced via Twitter last night that they will hold a meeting announcing the future of the theater today at 1 pm.

Stay tuned folks, we’ll see what happens.

UPDATE: Aaron Morrissey, editor of DCist, is tweeting from the meeting that the Lincoln Theater will close at the end of the year if they don’t received additional funding.

Vote! courtesy of ktpupp, Flickr

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the hotly contested primary campaign is coming to an end, as today is election day. As you know, the primary really is the election for the heavily-Democratic District. Note: you can only vote if you are registered as a Democrat, Republican, or with the Green party – you can’t vote if you’re an independent. But you can register for your party of choice at your voting place and then vote.

You can find out where you’re supposed to vote here. Polls opened at 7 am and close at 8 pm.

wrote a primer on the 3 Democratic candidates running for the Ward 1 Councilmember a few weeks ago. You can find plenty of information about the mayoral race, as well as the councilmember-at-large races.

Go out and vote!

Campaign signs from last election, courtesy of Techne

I was inspired to write this post because I got a quick press release letting me know that today, at noon on the Kojo Nnamdi show (WAMU 88.5) the Ward 1 Democratic candidates will be talking. Tune in!

Let’s go over the Democratic candidates (since the primary is September 14th). I’m not endorsing anyone, nor am I overly political, but let’s take the time to get informed:

Jim Graham is the current Ward 1 council member and a board member of WMATA. He’s the Scottish guy who wears bowties and drives around in his VW Beetle. Graham has represented Ward 1 since 1998. Graham is known as being an advocate for his constituents as well as for his strong connection to the community. He has overseen a huge wave of development and resurgence in Ward 1. Graham also been criticized as his Chief of Staff, Ted Loza, was arrested by the FBI and charged with two counts of accepting bribes in 2009. Check out more about his stances on hot topics.

Jeff Smith is the Executive Director of DC VOICE, an independent education civil rights group based in Ward 1. He also used to be a member of the DC School Board, has a law degree, and is a veteran of the military. He is running on a platform of education reform, making neighborhoods safer, promoting small and local businesses, and redeveloping housing. Smith seems earnest in his engagement with the community, he’s reached out to me to meet about issues in Ward 1, but unfortunately scheduling conflicts mean that hasn’t happened yet. He’s also been holding bike rides with the community. Read more about his stance on hot topics.

Bryan Weaver is probably best known for his well-done ad for his candidacy that made the rounds on the DC blogosphere. He currently serves on the ANC (his fourth term) and is a community activist who has worked to promote affordable housing, decrease crime, better education, and build youth leadership. He also seems to have deep connections with the Adams Morgan community, as he was on the scene after the shooting in last week, speaking to members of the community. Read more about his stance on hot topics.

And yes, I will be profiling the Republican candidate later this afternoon. He is running unopposed from the Republican side so the only election you can vote for him in is the general election on November 2nd.

Perseus Project in better shape

From an email  from the developers, Perseus, via Jim Graham:

Over the course of the next week we will be conducting a series of upgrades to the present site condition at 14W. Those upgrades will include the re-establishment of fencing, barricades and fence screens to keep the site secure and mitigate the visual impact.  Our project managers have been in contact with any neighbors who have corresponded with us over the past year and half.  We shall continue that effort and further our community outreach when appropriate.

This aside, the project is still stalled due to the economy.

MPD announced an arrest in the May 15th homicide of Marcus Robinson, who was killed on the corner of 14th street and Columbia Road. Here’s more information about the shooting from Jim Graham. MPD hasn’t released any information about the suspect who was arrested. I’m glad to see that MPD has a pretty good track record of making arrests following homicides in the Columbia Heights area. I wish there weren’t homicides to be made arrests for…

The Washington City Paper is reporting the suspect is 28-year-old Robert Larry Brock of Beltsville.

MPD announced last night that they made an arrest in the afternoon shooting outside of the Columbia Heights metro Thursday afternoon. The suspect is 19-year-old Devyn Lavar Black. He will be charged with assault with a dangerous weapon (not attempted homicide?). In the words of Inspector Jacob Kishter, “As a result of the arrest, a dangerous gang member has been taken off of the streets.”

DCist is reporting, with confirmation from Jim Graham, that the suspect was an intern at Graham’s office. Wow.

The 1300 block of Columbia Road is quickly becoming the most violent in Columbia Heights, if not the city. Friday night at 7 pm, there was another shooting where a 51-year-old man suffered gunshot wounds on his wrist and thigh. He is expected to recover from his injuries.

Meanwhile, the light tower on the block that was meant to deter violent crimes, was turned off/absent at the time of the shooting. Officer Edward Delgado promises that he has “directed that a light tower be deployed into the area to ensure that these bandits to [sic] not use the darkness of the night to facilitate illegal activities.”

Jim Graham has also posted on the MPD 3rd district listserv voicing his concern over the light tower:

Where was the Light Tower, which had been there and operative for weeks since the Paul Jones was murdered in January. And, if there was no light tower, why was it taken away? Who is responsible here? How many police were on the block?

The Light Tower was off last night. Shots were fired. It was not there earlier tonight. Shots were fired.

One would think, after last night’s violence, that all measures would be taken on what is now a block riddled with gang warfare.

Amen, Jim Graham. This block needs to be highly policed and all possible measures need to be implemented to decrease the violence.

The Heights Life has more information about the homicide in Columbia Heights via an email from Council member Jim Graham:

According to MPD, just minutes ago, a 25 year old African American was shot dead in what is reportedly a drive by shooting on the 1300 block of Columbia Rd NW. A silver SUV was seen leaving the site. Police indicate that this as a targeted shooting.

There were many shots fired at 1310 Columbia Rd.

Another man with gun shot wounds apparently took himself to MedStar. It is not clear now whether there is any connection between the two shootings.

I’d like some more reporting on this story from local news outlets. I still can find nearly no information on this, let alone on the stabbing that was on my block a week ago. I’m just a lowly blogger with some experience in journalism, but I’m doing my best to stay informed.

UPDATE to the update: DCist is reporting that the homicide victim isn’t 25, but instead 17-year-old Paul Jones. Not sure who to believe, DCist via WJLA or Jim Graham.

Luckily, while I was recently laid off, I’ve gotten some part-time work that might lead to something full-time in the near future. However, as I’m not working full-time, I still qualify for unemployment benefits. I do all the research, go on to DC’s Department of Employment Services website, and find out I can file for unemployment online: sweet.

Oh but, after the fourth page of the application there is just a blank page, it won’t go forward. Great. I’m on Firefox, let’s try on IE. Nope, same problem. Oh but there’s a number to call, let me call them and tell them of the problem. Oh but it’s busy, EVERY SINGLE TIME I TRY TO CALL. How the hell does a DC government office not have the ability to put people on hold? Ridiculous.

OK, let’s try calling one of the One Stop Career Center’s to see if they can help. After 5 times trying to call and getting a busy signal: I get through. Put on hold. Ask, is there anyway I can file over the phone because your website is broken. Lady says, sure here are four number to try to call.

Me: So you’re saying if I call one of these numbers I can file for unemployment over the phone?

Unemployment lady: Yes, ma’am.

Try to call first number: busy. Second number: voice mail, leave a message. Third number: another unemployment lady answers.

Me: So I can file for unemployment through this phone number?

Unemployment lady 2: No. Who told you that?

Me: I called one of your One Stop Career Centers and the woman who answered the phone gave me this number and told me I could.

Unemployment lady 2: Oh you can only do it online or by this number (original number that’s been busy every time I’ve called).

Me: Well I tried that, your website is broken and that number is busy.

Unemployment lady 2: Well that’s the only way you can do it.

Me (Pulling out hair, banging head on laptop keyboard): Can I at least tell you what’s wrong with your website?

I proceed to tell her what’s wrong, she says she’ll “tell someone about it.” Lovely. I sent an email to my council member Jim Graham detailing the mess. I continue to call the ever busy signal number. Will I ever be able to file for unemployment? Time will only tell.