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Neighborhood Walk Will Precede PSA Meeting

Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells will join police and concerned Capitol Hill residents for a neighborhood walk around Police Service Area 107 on Thursday night. The walk will begin at 7 p.m. at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Ave. SE, and will return to the church in time for the regular PSA 107 monthly meeting at 7:30.

Part of the purpose of the walk, according to Metropolitan Police Department 1st district Commander Diane Groomes, is to encourage people to call in suspicious behavior and problem crime areas rather than simply report activity on a neighborhood online listserv. “We do not dispatch police from a listserv,” Groomes said. “Our calls for service stats do not meet or match with what residents are reporting on the listserv. We have not received calls about prostitution, yet people are reporting online about prostitution. I’ve driven through that neighborhood and have yet to see a prostitute.”

The meeting also will address two recent homicides, one at 17th Street and Independence Avenue Southeast and one at 17th and A streets Southeast. “We will talk about the homicides. If they know where drug houses are, they can give us the addresses,” Groomes said. “We’ll see what takes place on the walk so people can show us some of these things.”

Effort to Create Southeast BID Moves Forward

A group of private developers outlined a plan this week to clean up and market the Southeast Waterfront, which is undergoing a flurry of development as the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium is built.

Officials from development companies such as Monument Realty and JBG Companies are hoping to make the area’s 100 blocks a business improvement district, where properties would pay an extra annual tax for services such as street cleaning and public image marketing.

A recently released executive summary estimates that the BID could make about $1.5 million a year, more than similar BIDs on Capitol Hill and in Adams Morgan. The area is expected to have its share of booming business: 12 million square feet of office space and 9,000 new housing units are planned for the next 10 to 15 years. Commercial developments that are more than 50,000 square feet would pay 12 cents per gross square foot, while large residential properties would pay $96 per unit annually. Small residential buildings and federal land is exempt.

Michael Stevens, president of City Building Consulting, jump-started the effort two months ago, when rumors circulated that the existing Capitol Hill BID may envelope the Southeast Waterfront. Stevens said stakeholders wanted a BID that was more tailored to the area’s unique identity.

Before submitting a proposal to the city, a petition must be signed by 51 percent of non-exempt properties and property owners in the area, which is roughly bordered by Interstate 395, the Anacostia River, 15th Street Southeast, South Capitol Street and the Frederick Douglass Bridge. Petitions have already been mailed.

Center Holds Screening of Wholphin Films

The last bit of dusk light begins to fade on a North Carolina beach as former Vice President Al Gore gives his wife, Tipper, a mammoth bear hug and then rides a wave. It’s just one of the candid moments featured in a Spike Jonze documentary that will be shown today along with other films from the DVD magazine Wholphin at the Center for American Progress.

Originally commissioned by Gore to help create commercials for his 2000 campaign, the short film was shot by Jonze, the director of “Being John Malkovich,” in one day just before the Democratic convention. Like nearly all of the pieces found in the magazine, it was never released.

The CAP hopes to give the short a wider audience by showing it in the first of a series of collaborative events with Wholphin, a new offering from the McSweeney’s publishing family that also prints The Believer. The first screening will combine a variety of films that reference American politics, including a David Russell documentary about soldiers in Iraq called “Soldiers’ Pay” and a Wholphin original, dubbed “Walleyball,” in which a game of volleyball is played over the wall at the Mexican-American border near San Diego. Editor and head curator Brent Hoff will be on hand to speak and answer questions.

The screening will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in the CAP office at 1333 H St. NW, 10th floor. Admission is free and open to the public, but spaces must be reserved though the CAP’s Web site.

— Daniel Heim, Emily Yehle and Evan Haine-Roberts

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