Tenant Association to Produce Bedbug Play

June 18, 2013

The Norwood Tenants Association, an 84-unit rent-controlled Apartment near Logan Circle, is in the midst of writing a play on bedbugs.

“We don’t have a building-wide infestation anymore, but we do have flare-ups,” co-president Silvia Salazar told the D.C. government’s second ever Bedbug Summit last month. Norwood Apartment tenants went before Congress in November to testify about the growing problem of bed bugs not only in their apartment building, but in the District.

Norwood residents have created the website StopBedBugs.org, and they’re now applying for grants to provide it with more resources.

The play will be written, directed and performed by Norwood tenants and will feature reenactments of bedbug-related issues. They are still awaiting funding by the Commission on Arts and Humanities to put on the play.

“The first thing we did was we came out of the closet,” Salazar told TBD. Bedbugs “are way more organized than we are … let’s just accept that they are here.”

Historic Dupont East Church Raises Funds to Restore its Tower

The Church of the Holy City’s tower, located at 16th and Corcoran St. NW, is deteriorating. Historic preservation contractors detailed the damage in 2010, which were from termites and a broken drain that deteriorated the 95-foot, 100-year-old tower. However, because of high resin content in the wood framing, the termites hadn’t done too much damage. The report, costing $20,000, has led to two matching grants by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Middle Atlantic Association of Swedenborgian Churches, who gave $5,000 each. But the church must raise $20,000 for structural work.

Tis’ the Season for the Independent Film Festival

The Washington, DC Independent Film Festival is coming up from March 3 to 13, showcasing 100 feature, short, animation and documentary films by local and national filmmakers.

“Each entry in this year’s festival illustrates how individuals and the medium of film may be more powerful now than ever before,” said DCIFF founder and executive director Carol Bidault. “The technologies that are transforming all our lives provide everyone with a platform. Our filmmakers are using their platforms to make powerful statements and, in turn, make a difference.”

Special guests this year include Eduardo Sanchez (co-director and writer of The Blair Witch Project), actor Harry Shearer (This is Spinal Tap, The Simpsons), and cult director Monte Hellman (Two-Lane Blacktop, The Shooting). Those in attendance will also have an opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars run by industry professionals, as well as a special music festival.

The Annual Washington, DC Independent Music Festival will run in tandem with the film festival to provide nightly gospel, hip-hop and open mike performances.

Want to go?
When: March 3 – 13, 2011
Where: Navy Memorial Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Opening Night Film & Reception: $25
Closing Night Film & Reception: $25
Tickets to film sessions : $10/$7 student and seniors
Tickets to seminars: $25 per seminar.

Columbia Heights Makes The New York Times

The New York Times recently deemed a strip less than a mile long in Columbia Heights “cool.” In a slide show, they featured BloomBars, a nonprofit “art bar” that offers hip-hop jam sessions, belly dance classes and activist theater performances, wine bar Room 11, restaurant Meridian Pint and bar Wonderland. All situated between Park Road and Kenyon Street, the cool paradise is a mere few blocks from Target, Giant and IHOP on 14th St.

“The inspiration happened in the years leading up to the last presidential election. There was a sense that something radically different was needed to unite and inspire a diverse and demographically shifting Washington, DC, my hometown for the last 18 years, as well as in communities across the globe,” said John Chambers, founder and executive gardener of BloomBars. Meridian Pint called it a “great write up.”

Capital BikeShare Winter Weather Contest Winds Down

The Winter Weather Warrior Contest through Capital Bikeshare wraps up February 28 with ten in the lead. Starting in January, annual and monthly members could choose to participate to ride the most miles, with the winner receiving a three-year extension to their membership, $100 gift card to Hudson Trail Outfitters and a $25 gift card to Starbucks. In addition, on days when the weather is particularly bad, riders received double points. This includes any day with rain and a high below 50 degrees, frozen precipitation or a high temperature below freezing.

Quizzing for a Cause

This month, the Smithsonian Institution will donate to the National Zoo at least 50 cents per person who can answer five questions on the “Are You Smarter than a Curator?” quiz. Questions vary from facts about the mission of the zoo to the habitat of the cuddlefish, which were created by curator of enrichment and training Heidi Hellmuth. The quiz will be open until April 8. A spokeswoman says the funds would come from the larger Smithsonian Institution fundraising office.

You can take the quiz at SmarterThanACurator.org.

Environmental Film Festival

For the 19th year, the Environmental Film Festival will screen two weeks of films about the environment and social issues that surround it. Lasting through March 27, they’ll showcase 150 films from 40 countries, with 52 filmmaker and 94 special guest appearances. This year there are 80 primers, including the film, “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” winner of the 2010 Palme D’Or at Cannes; the multi-award-winning Russian psychological thriller, “How I Ended This Summer”; Werner Herzog’s new film, “Happy People: A Year in the Taiga”; and Chilean documentary filmmaker Patricio Guzmán’s “Nostalgia for the Light.” Most films are free and shown throughout the city.

For more information, visit DCEnvironmentalFilmFest.org

Reduced Salaries for Gray’s City Officials

In the wake of scrutiny over salaries for city officials, Mayor Vincent Gray has reduced salaries for eight city managers, by one to four percent, according to WTOP.com.

“I hired managers with outstanding qualifications and their initial salaries reflected their extensive experience and background,” Gray said in a press release. “I have now adjusted those salaries commensurate with the compensation schedules.”

At the same time, Gray released an online survey for public input on the 2012 budget, which includes five questions of various length and substance.

According to a press release from Gray’s office, he will “attend several community meetings across the city to discuss the budget” after it is rolled out in April. Additionally, Gray has encouraged residents to get involved in the DC Council budget hearings, which will run from April 7 to May 6.

Garden District Closed

Garden District, a full service urban garden center, located at 1740 14th St. NW has closed. In November of 2009, they filed for bankruptcy, and had been in three locations since it opened.
On the company website, owner Joe Carmack posted, “I regret to inform you Garden District, the business entity, has been closed. I worked very hard to maintain it, but at a certain point it did not make sense to continue. Thank you for supporting GD for 10 great yrs. It was a pleasure serving you.”

Section of 14th Street now Ron Brown Way

US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daily will attend the ceremonial naming of 14th St., NW as Ron Brown Way, after the late Ronald H. Brown, former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Secretary of Commerce. The block of 14th St. between Constitution Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave., NW will be named for Brown, 15 years after his death. Brown died in a plane crash in 1996. The street was named after legislation was put through by Brown’s son, councilman at-large Michael A. Brown.