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China Program Now Taking Applications

The H Street Community Development Corp. is accepting applications for its 2007 China Challenge Summer Youth Initiative for sixth-through-eighth graders. The program teaches participants about the language and culture of China through music, art, games, dramatic skits, tai chi and calligraphy.

Offered in two identical three-week sessions (July 9-27 and July 30-Aug. 17), the program will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the HSCDC Training Center, 501 H St. NE. The admission fee for each session is $1,200 per student.

The initiative will be taught by Chunrong Cai, a China native and certified Mandarin Chinese teacher at Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School.

For more information and application forms for the summer youth initiative, e-mail

Meetings Question Size Of Hill Historic District

A series of meetings are being conducted to explore expanding the Capitol Hill Historic District.

An introductory gathering on the pros and cons of historic designation was held on April 4, with two more meetings scheduled for April 24 and May 23. The second meeting will discuss potential boundaries and gauge support for the expansion, while the third will result in a recommendation on how to proceed. They are being held by Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 6A and 6C.

The current district roughly is bound by F Street Northeast (on the north), 13th Street (east), the Southeast Freeway (south) and 2nd Street (west).

The 7 p.m. meetings will be held April 24 at Capitol Hill Towers (900 G St. NE) and May 23 at Sherwood Recreation Center (10th and G streets Northeast).

Residents Form Group To Preserve Facility

A group of Capitol Hill residents recently formed Neighbors United, an organization committed to keeping the eastern branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs open.

For months, rumors have spread about whether the club plans to close its eastern branch, a facility that has helped children to write, read, dance and play for 70 years. After initially saying that the branch may close in July because of its costly upkeep, club officials are now tight-lipped on its future. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington is working on a study of all its facilities in an effort to fix a $1.8 million deficit.

Neighbors United will try to generate funds to offset the club’s financial burdens and will look into putting more community services in the facility, said founding member Will Cobb. The group also is working on creating a strategic plan and will do a study on the facility, which club officials have said is outdated and expensive to keep up.

Developers Release Plan for SE BID

In their ongoing effort to clean and market the neighborhood around the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium, a group of private developers recently released a plan outlining how they’re going to do it.

The group hopes to form a business improvement district, where property owners would pay an extra annual tax for services such as street cleaning and public image marketing. The newly released operating plan proposes that even more services are offered, such as extra cleaning on game days, lobbying for better infrastructure and heightened security. The group also hopes to form partnerships with the Metropolitan Police Department, the District Department of Transportation and the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., said Michael Stevens, who is acting as the executive director. Talks already have begun, he said.

Before the D.C. City Council can approve the BID, 51 percent of eligible property owners have to sign a petition. Stevens said he hopes to get all petitions by the end of this week and to submit legislation by the end of the month.

Daniel Heim and Emily Yehle

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