Main Dish

Concerts in the Park Starts on a High Note at George

February 6, 2010

CAG Summer Concerts in the Parks kicked off the 2010 season with a family party Jan. 31 at George, the hot spot tucked behind Café Milano. Georgetown moms, dads, grandparents and kids of all ages danced and mingled amid flashing lights, glow sticks, and food and libations provided by George. Call it a daytime disco or a rave for all ages, the afternoon party swung with Georgetown music lovers and the dynamic women behind Concerts in the Parks.

A true Georgetown dish, Concerts co-chair Elizabeth Miller started the series eight years ago. "Twenty of my friends came," she said. "I was a basket case."

"At the time, I thought Georgetown was a little 'old guard,'" she said. "I thought we needed an event to bring everyone together." Bring them together it does -- in droves. The concerts typically draw over 300 neighbors per performance. Miller and co-chair Renee Esfandiary Crupi drew a big crowd to George to raise money for the series. But they needyour help. Get your tickets on CAG's website ($160 for three generations (grandparents, parents, and children , $135 for two generations, $125 for a couple, and $65 for a single ticket), or send a check to CAG to support this worthy cultural cause. Tentative concert dates are:

Sunday, May 23 at 5:00
Sunday, June 20 at 5:00: Father’s Day celebration
Sunday, July 4 at 5:00: Independence Day parade returns (at 4:00)!

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Jessica Heywood, CAG President Jennifer Altemus, and CAG Exec. Dir. Betsy Cooley

Annie Lou Berman, son Teddy, and Concerts co-chair Renee Esfandiary Crupi

Michael Petricone, Laura Rawlings, Nico and Fiore support Concerts in the Parks

Reagan Smith and Sofia Podini

Outside the Concerts Kick-off at George

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Gray Enters Hardy School Battle

February 5, 2010

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray (D) defended Georgetown parents today, opposing a Fenty administration effort to remove Hardy Middle School's cherished principal Patrick Pope. Gray entered the controversy with a letter to Mayor Adrian Fenty, saying “the school’s current leadership represents the best of the District of Columbia Public schools and should be continued in its current state.” 

Georgetown students and parents have been in an uproar since schools chancellor Michelle Rhee announced a "transfer" of Principal Pope. Pope has been considered a beloved and esteemed leader of the highly-regarded middle school.

When 120 Hardy Middle School seventh graders and teachers marched on the District Building this week to plead with Mayor Fenty not to "re-assign" Pope to another program, Gray decided to speak out publicly on their behalf.

Mayor Fenty was not available to see the students, but security guards allowed several students inside the building to deliver their letters to staff.  The rest of the students remained outside. 

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City Lax on Sidewalk Snow Removal

February 4, 2010

Longtime Georgetown resident Ed Emes is pleading with neighbors to remove ice from their sidewalks as new snow falls and creates compound dangers.

"Through the past two snow storms," Emes wrote on the Georgetown Forum, "the three-block south side of Prospect St. from Potomac to 34th (with few exceptions),  has been a linear mess of unshoveled slippery snow and treacherous blue ice on brick."

"With the impending storm Friday-Saturday, snow will hide ice underneath and people will be badly hurt along this dangerous walk," Emes wrote. "Common decency, in lieu of an injury suit, would dictate that the sidewalks be clear."

It turns out, D.C.'s arcane laws on the subject are part of the problem. According to Charles Allen, Chief of Staff to D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6), current law requires that snow be removed from sidewalks eight daylight hours after the snow stops falling, but the enforcement mechanism is filing suit against violators. As a consequence, the City has simply failed to use this burdensome, if not extreme, mechanism to enforce the law. 

Wells and Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3) are proposing that the city drop the lawsuit remedy and instead impose a fine: $25 for residents and $250 for businesses who don't clear the sidewalks after a storm.

But the legislation seems to have been -- forgive us -- buried under a blizzard of bureaucracy. The bill  hasn't even had a hearing yet, unlike emergency legislation regarding snow removal from cars that sailed through the Council in December.

Citizens can help move D.C. Council Bill 18-596, called "The Winter Sidewalk Safety Amendment Act of 2009" by contacting Councilmember Jim Graham, Chairman of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, at 202.724.8181 or

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