Some of these news items are a little old, but since I was away for a long weekend I wanted to catch everyone up in case you missed it:

  • U street is the subject of the new Washington Post feature, Scene In. Pretty cool, especially if you’re into fashion and love U street. (Note: video starts playing when you click on the link.)
  • On Saturday, Deborah Ann Brown was murdered on 14th and Harvard. It is believed she was an innocent bystander. A 17-year-old, Devonte Carlton, was arrested for the murder. Now, it might just be coincidence, but when I saw that name it looked familiar. That’s because Lafonte Lurie Carlton was arrested back in January for two area murders. Are they related? I don’t know, but it is strange that they share the same last name, at the least.
  • Garden District is moving across the street to the other side of 14th and S and consolidating its inside and outdoor stores, meaning both of their current locations will close.
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There was a rash of shootings last night in the area, both where individuals were fatally shot. On 14th and Columbia, a 19-year-old male was fatally shot in the head, there was also a victim who was shot in the leg and is in the hospital. It is being called a targeted shooting that is likely related to the suspected gang killing of Paul Jones back in January.

On Kalorama and Champlain, two plainclothes officers and a uniformed officer intercepted a robbery. The suspect shot at the police and the police killed the suspect in the midst of gunfire. One officer was shot in the back, another in the leg.

On an unrelated noted, now that I’m somewhat settled in my new place, expect regular posts to resume.

The other day, waiting to cross the street to head to the metro, I see, like I do nearly every day, someone blatantly run the red light. Being a pedestrian who is maybe a bit aggressive, I cross the street when I have the right of way, and the car running the red stops to let me go (nice enough I guess) and then proceeds to run the red light.

There was a cop parked at the block. There’s often a cop parked at my block, and it didn’t  even occur to me to think the cop would do anything. But lo and behold, the cop turns his sirens on, chases after the driver (Maryland, I might add), pulls him over, and I assume proceeds to give him a ticket.

How nice, to see our cops doing things, stopping bad drivers, it really made me smile. I’m not sure if that’s sad. But, so often you don’t see cops give a second glance to bad or illegal driving. It warmed my heart and my morning.

On my walk to the metro this morning, I couldn’t help but notice my own block, along with all of U street, cordoned off to traffic by police cars. Fearing some horrible crime had happened, I first asked a police officer, and then a few fellow commuters, what was up. A police officer said everything was fine, and then a fellow commuter told me a police officer let her know that Obama is coming. Thinking he’s heading to Ben’s again?

Wish I could have hung around and checked it out, but alas, I must go to work.

UPDATE: Or not? No one seems to have figured out the mystery of why U street was cordoned off this morning. Obama’s schedule indicated he didn’t leave the White House. The Israeli president was down at the Convention center, but at a mile away, why would U street be blocked off to vehicular traffic? I’ll keep an eye on this and give any further updates if I find anything out.

Instead of writing individual posts about a few incidents that have happened in the U street area, I’ve decided to do a quick round-up of the crime in the area:

  • DCist reports on a rash of hold-ups on U street-area Chinese take out restaurants. I can’t say I’ve ever actually eaten at any of these places, but I hope that the businesses are able to recover and no other restaurants are hit.
  • MPD’s 3rd district listserv reports on a police-related shooting on 16th and Kalorama, right near Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park. A police officer shot a suspect after he assaulted the police officer. The suspect is at a hospital recovering from a single gunshot wound and the police officer is in the hospital recovering from a head wound sustained during the incident. The Washington City Paper is reporting that the suspect was mentally ill. This is following the police-related shooting death of a mentally-ill man yesterday near H Street NE.

Also kids, it’s slippery out there, be careful where you’re going. I almost wiped out a few times on the short walk to/from the metro, and I’m from up North where we’re used to this kind of weather 6 months a year. Or something.

Obama inauguration, courtesy of Tiff (Flickr)

Obama inauguration, courtesy of Tiff (Flickr)

It’s been a busy past few weeks, from a job search, to working part-time, to getting a job offer, to deciding to take the job offer, to all of the paperwork after accepting the job offer. I start my job later this week, and still have a million things to do before I go in for my first day. Then I get bombarded with questions from well-meaning friends and relatives asking me what my big plans for the inauguration are, and my response is, well you know I’ve been a bit busy, I haven’t really thought that out.

Of course, I’d love to see BRUCE perform on the Mall. Totally want to see Obama’s inauguration speech in person. Though it’s probably not going to be the best place to fully listen to his speech, that’s what YouTube is for after the fact. But, is the absolute mess that’s going to be the Mall, and about a 2 mile radius of it, worth it? I’m not sure I’m convinced. Not to mention, I’m not even sure I have Tuesday off, still working on figuring that one out.

After Bush declared a state of emergency for DC (that sounds scary, doesn’t it?) I started getting worried. I wonder if it’s really going to be the mess that people are predicting: friends have predicted gridlock and mayhem Friday night till Wednesday morning.

Then there’s the whole restaurants being allowed to be open 24 hours and bars serving liquor until 4 am which makes me feel like U street is going to be a 24-hour-party zone. Google Maps does a good job of showing which establishments are going to be taking advantage of the special inauguration laws that allow them to do so. Crazy party zone is great and all, good fun. Not so much when you live on U street and don’t have great sound protection from your apartment and are a light sleeper.

Maybe I should just go hide in the suburbs and wait for it to be over. Or maybe I should just embrace the madness and enjoy it.

Last night, near the Columbia Heights recreation center (at the 140o block of Girard), a teenager was shot and wounded in a hail of bullets. At about 7:30 pm, the teen and other people outside of the recreation center were approached by gunmen, at least one in a ski mask. The gunmen then opened fire with no warning.

In the Washington Post article, Jim Graham is quoted as saying the shooting is most likely gang related, though doesn’t seem to give any reason why.

That block of Columbia Heights has seen a lot of violence, in the summer of 2007 it seemed like there was a shooting there every week. I had a friend who lived on the block and often he had to tell the police that he lived there, and could he please get to his apartment, because it was so often blocked off by police tape.

Isn’t it great though, that the Washington Post is writing about this incident, where no one was killed and the most severe injury (from what I can tell) was a thumb wounded by a bullet, and neglects to do barely any reporting on the fatal shooting over the weekend (I’m sorry, that article doesn’t count). I don’t understand how local news works sometimes, why does the Post see this incident as more worthy to cover? I can cobble my news together from blogs, listservs, and local news outlets and sometimes get a good sense of what’s happening in my neighborhood and surrounding ones. Sometimes I can’t. I really wish there were better coverage of my neighborhood. If there’s some news source that does it well, I’m all ears.

UPDATE: I’m calling out the Washington Post even more on this. They did some crappy reporting on that article. First of all, they didn’t interview Jim Graham, they just took a statement from a press release he issued and made it seem as though they had interviewed him. They did the same thing with a quotation from MPD officer Edward Delgado, taking a statement he had posted on the 3rd district listserv and representing as if they had spoken to him directly. Additionally, they seem to have taken parts of WJLA’s story on the shooting Friday night and represented as if they had interviewed these people on their own. They both interview a witness named Siobhan Gavagan and use the same quotation about her hiding under a car during the shooting. Shame on you, Washington Post reporters, for your sloppy, and in some parts, dishonest reporting.