April 2010 ANC Update
Blight of robberies hits Georgetown, Social Safeway goes green
At the ANC 2E’s March 30 meeting, the news was unsettling: crime is on the rise in Georgetown in recent weeks.
In the month of March, the neighborhood experienced a rash of five robberies, along with 11 burglaries across the Metro Police Department’s second district. One mugging victim, Erwin Kalvelagen, even required hospitalization after being tackled and kicked repeatedly on Georgetown’s R Street the morning of March 29. While on a walk just a block from his house, Kalvelagen says he passed by an SUV surrounded by men in the early hours of the morning before he was immediately jumped from behind. The robbers made off with his wallet and managed to purchase quite the pantryful of groceries before his credit cards were canceled. Other than a black eye, Kalvalegan was released from the hospital none the worse for wear. A neighbor even mailed his driver’s license to him after finding it close by the crime scene.
MPD Lieutenant John Hedgecock said the second district police are responding to what he termed an “uptick” in neighborhood crime, partnering with Georgetown University’s police force and broadcasting crime reports over the opt-in text message and email alert system (sign up at alert.dc.gov). Hedgecock said the usual advisories for residents stand: lock doors, remove valuables from cars, be vigilant when walking the neighborhood after dark and use 911 for any suspicious activity.
DDOT project manager Mohammed Khalid stopped by to update the commission and neighbors on the trolley tracks project, which will rehabilitate the pockmarked and crevassed surfaces of West Georgetown’s O and P Streets while preserving the aesthetic of the historic streetcar tracks. Khalid said work will begin this summer on the tracks between 35th and 37th Streets and will progress all the way to Wisconsin Avenue during the 18-month project. Residents can expect construction Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In a resolution, the commission said it “enthusiastically supports” the project, while recommending minor logistical changes to ease traffic through construction areas.
Neighbors got the lowdown from Safeway’s Craig Muckle on the reopening of Wisconsin Avenue’s Social Safeway. Muckle reaffirmed the scheduled May 6 opening, and after a little mutual back-patting with commissioners, confirmed the store’s voluntary agreement, which allows for beer and wine sales over extended hours (9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week) and a 24-hour pharmacy. The company is also reporting the new store will be the “greenest grocery store in town,” citing the building’s LEED certification, drip irrigation system and reflective roof membrane. Take that, Whole Foods.
Also reviewed were signing and façade plans for gourmet pizza peddler Il Canale and the forthcoming UGG retail outlet. Commissioners approved a subtle backlit logo sign proposed by the Australian furry boot seller, but nixed a blade sign that would hang outside the store. Also approved was a metal awning design for Il Canale, which is seeking to clean up the previous owner’s sloppy exterior pastiche of design elements.