Downtowner DC February 26, 2020

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A man was fatally shot near the Portrait Gallery.

PHASE 2 OF WHARF DEVELOPMENT UNDERWAY

The second phase of the Wharf development in Southwest D.C. is proceeding, adding new residences, retail and amenities to the waterfront neighborhood. Opened in October of 2017, the first phase involved the construction of three hotels, two office buildings, four residential buildings, three live-music venues and numerous restaurants. This phase is due for completion in 2022.

WOMEN’S HISTORY MUSEUM ON NATIONAL MALL?

On Feb. 11, the House of Representatives passed a bill to create a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum on or near the National Mall, the location to be chosen by the Smithsonian Board of Regents. One of the bill’s lead sponsors, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York), said: “For too long, women’s history has been left out of the telling of our nation’s history.”

STAFF CUTS AT NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM

The National Building Museum will reopen on March 13 after a three-month closure to replace the floor of the Great Hall and construct a new visitor center and classroom. Unfortunately, revenue loss during the closure and other financial challenges led the museum to lay off seven staff members. The museum is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Despite a mild winter, the cherry blossoms are on track. Photo by Kate Oczypok.

MILD WINTER WON’T SPOIL BLOSSOMS

With this winter one of the mildest since the 1970s, Washingtonians are worried about spring flowers — the cherry blossoms in particular. If they bloom too early, a March cold snap could damage the blossoms. Fear not: the National Park Service said the Yoshino trees (the majority of the population) are on track. The blossoms we’re seeing are on the Higan cherry trees, which bud and flower off and on during a warm autumn or mild winter.

SAFEWAY WORKERS MAY STRIKE

Without a deal by March 5, thousands of union workers at Safeway supermarkets will go on strike and area stores could close. (Giant workers recently came to a tentative agreement with management.) A Feb. 19 rally outside a Southwest D.C. Safeway had workers chanting: “Safeway, Safeway, rich and rude. We don’t like your attitude!”

METRO RIDER GIVEN CPR THANKS HELPERS

A woman who went into cardiac arrest on Metrorail last month delivered a speech to thank the bystanders who saved her life. Arielle Baker, 29, might have died at the Columbia Heights Metro station were it not for two riders who performed CPR. DC Fire and EMS held an event on Feb. 15 to give Baker an opportunity to thank her helpers.

GO-GO IS NOW D.C.’S OFFICIAL MUSIC

Mayor Muriel Bowser signed legislation making go-go music D.C.’s official sound. She made the announcement on Feb. 19 at Culture House DC, a former church turned arts venue in Southwest D.C. After she signed the document, the mayor handed out pens to musicians and to the daughter of Chuck Brown, the godfather of go-go.

FRANKLIN PARK CLEARED OF HOMELESS PEOPLE

Authorities ordered the homeless men and women living in D.C.’s Franklin Park to leave, removing unclaimed possessions by truck. Verbal warnings were reportedly given, but there were no posted signs. The U.S. Park Police carried out the Feb. 5 operation with the National Park Service and a homeless advocacy group. The park will close in April for a major renovation.

POLICE SHOOTOUT FOLLOWS CHINATOWN MURDER

A fatal shooting in Chinatown resulted in a shootout with D.C. police. The incidents took place near the National Portrait Gallery at 8th and F Streets NW. Jaykell Mason, 20, shot Terence Dantzler Jr., 29, multiple times during the 5 p.m. rush on Feb. 13. Mason was injured in the shootout. Dantzler was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

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