News, The Daily Feed

Death at Construction Site in Brookland

Photo courtesy of
‘construction vertigo’
courtesy of ‘amarino17′

[Update, 11:30a: DCRA has re-checked their records, and the site had all the required permits, and passed several inspections during the process.  This appears to have just been a tragic accident, not a permitting process gone awry.  OSHA has been brought in to investigate the incident.  According to DCRA’s Gil, the trench had intended to be 7-8 feet deep, and was 5 feet deep when it collapsed.]

Late yesterday, a man working in a construction trench at a house on Evarts Street NE in Brookland was buried alive when the trench structure gave way.  While DC Fire & EMS worked to save the man before he succumbed, the trench’s collapse was too serious.  This morning, I spoke with DCRA about the site, and they revealed that the work the man was doing was unpermitted, and that an inspector had told the man to stop work earlier in the day. [please note correction above – ed.]

“We’ve had people do incredibly dangerous unpermitted work before, but I can’t recall last time it resulted in a person’s death,” said Helder Gil from DCRA this morning. DCRA had been on the site yesterday, and had issued a stop work order for the site, but unfortunately the man returned to work after the visit.  Our thoughts are with the man’s family today.

Continue reading

Ward 5

Dispatches from Ward 5: High Density Edition

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘TomLeGro’

If you’ve ever been to Rustik in Bloomingdale, you’ve probably noticed that it has this big, gorgeous patio… with nothing but firewood on it. Rustik has a voluntary agreement with the Bloomingdale Civic Association allowing patio seating for reduced hours, but has not yet secured the public space permit required to actually seat people outside. The hearing with the Public Space Management Administration is on March 24, and neighbors are writing letters in support of Rustik’s petition to Juan Amaya at the Space Permit Office.

In Brookland, the 901 Monroe project is moving along through the hearing process. On March 14th, the Zoning Commission held a setdown hearing on the project. The commission seems generally in favor of the idea, but would like to consider setting down a version of the plan with zoning that would restrict its height further. The Commission has asked for a number of additional documents: shade studies  on how the proposed development will affect the surrounding area, perspective drawings of how it will look from various points around the neighborhood (12th Street retail, the Metro station, etc.), as well as a copy of the Brookland Small Area Plan. The developers have until tomorrow to turn in this information and the Commission will consider the issue again at their March 28 meeting. Continue reading

News, The Daily Feed

Candlelight Vigil for Raj Patel tonight in Brookland

Photo courtesy of
‘lights joined’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

On Saturday night, two men in masks with guns walked into the Newton Food Mart to rob it. They held the owner’s wife and son at gunpoint when the owner, Raj Patel, came out from the back room.  The robbers shot him in the chest and he died from his wounds.  Tonight at 5:45, a candlelight vigil will gather at St. Anthony’s on 12th Street in Northeast and walk to the Newton Food Mart at 12th and Newton at 6pm to show support for the Patels and for their loss.

Police have not released any information about the suspects other than they were wearing masks, and using silver handguns. Commander Lamar Greene of the Fifth District said via email yesterday that, “we have other information the detectives are following up on as we speak,” and refused further comment.  MPD is offering a $25,000 reward to those with information that leads to an arrest.