The Washington Syndicate

Radio One & Kathy Hughes fakin’ moves in the ‘hood

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 26, 2010

Taken from the SW corner of 7th & S Street looking northeast towards T Street NW where the proposed Radio One property would have been. Photo circa summer 2006 courtesy Washington Syndicate


The Syndicate is not, now, nor has ever been, a fan of Nebraska born AKA Kathy Hughes, whose last name is that of Dewey Hughes, the man who met with Petey Greene in Lorton and eventually helped launch his successful career.   

Radio One, founded in the city in 1979 when the Hughes’ bought WOL 1450, is currently headquartered in Lanham, Maryland. Touting itself as the “Urban Media Specialist” on its website, Radio One promotes the nationally syndicated Al Sharpton Show along with its 53 stations in 16 urban markets throughout the country.   

According to today’s Post article the company has seen a massive decline in advertising revenue causing its stock to fluctuate from a high of $8 to $0.20.   

City Council member Jim Graham, who represents Ward 1 said Radio One has okey-doked the city   

“To be told at the 11th hour that they would not be coming was quite a setback,” he said. “This was a very significant turn of events.”   

Radio One has and its crew has been boo jangling for a long minute; since 2005.  

The below is from a 2006 Post article,  

They plan to build a $100 million, mixed-use project next to the Shaw-Howard University Metro stop along Seventh Street NW between S and T streets. It would include a 100,000-square-foot office building for Radio One Inc., which plans to move its headquarters from Lanham. Just as the plaza at Rockefeller Center in New York lures visitors with a view of NBC’s “Today” show, Ellis wants his development built around a plaza with a window on Radio One’s shows.   

The project, called Broadcast Center One, is also to include 23,000 square feet of shops and restaurants and 182 condominiums that will range in price from $400,000 to the mid-$500,000s, Ellis said. Construction is planned to begin by year-end and be completed in early 2009.  

More from 2007 here.  

The United Negro College Fund now plans to occupy the space according to several local reports.  

Believe none of what of you hear and half of what you see. Maybe The Syndicate will believe it when The Syndicate sees it. Be careful what you read and what you believe. As they say in the streets of my city, “Get me, don’t shit me.” This has now proven Radio One is some dookie. The Syndicate is not afraid to check this self-serving fraud.  

Radio One fakin’ moves covered by Left for LeDroit, Washington Business Journal, 14th & You, NBC Washington,

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DC History Focus_Cedar Hill and the Anacostia Sage

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 26, 2010

The Frederick Douglass house looms large over W Street SE and Anacostia on a recent morning while elementary students enjoy a field trip. Courtesy Washington Syndicate


The Syndicate found this from an April 1997 National Park System Advertising Special in Newsweek and thinks it would be negligent not to share. 

Cedar Hill and the Anacostia Sage  

The unpretentious yet dominating home, on the heights above the Anacostia River, provided its owner with a commanding view of the U.S. Capitol and the city of Washington. Its owner was a remarkable self-taught man who became a commanding figure in American history. 

Slave, abolitionist, human rights activist, linguist, diplomat, author, editor, orator–Frederick Douglass was all these things, a role model for all people, for all times.  

“To those who have suffered in slavery, I can say, I, too, have suffered…to those who have battled for liberty, brotherhood and citizenship, I can say, I, too, have battled.” 

From a 1990 Post article, “Cedar Hill was the last home of Douglass, the orator, abolitionist and journalist who became known as the “Sage of Anacostia” after he settled there in 1877. Douglass, who was born in 1817, died in 1895 and his home has since been declared a national shrine. 

According to Wikipedia, “The site of the Frederick Douglass home was originally purchased by John Van Hook circa 1855. Van Hook built the main portion of the present house soon after taking possession of the property. For a portion of 1877 the house was owned by the Freedom Savings and Trust Company. Later that year Douglass purchased it and eventually expanded its 14 rooms to 21, including two-story library and kitchen wings. The house has an “L” shape and its plan is reminiscent of the design of Andrew Jackson Downing.” 

The Park Service’s minimal website contains, 

 “In 1872, Douglass moved to Washington, DC where he initially served as publisher of the New National Era, which was intended to carry forward the work of elevating the position of African Americans in the post-Emancipation period. This enterprise was discontinued when the promised financial backing failed to materialize. In this period Douglass also served briefly as President of the Freedmen’s National Bank, and subsequently in various national service positions, including US Marshal for the District of Columbia, and diplomatic positions in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.” 

This Chapter 12 excerpt of Narrative, always struck me as testament to the drive Douglass had his entire life, 

“The plan which I adopted, and the one by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted into teachers. With their kindly aid, obtained at different times and in different places, I finally succeeded in learning to read. 

When I was sent of errands, I always took my book with me, and by going one part of my errand quickly, I found time to get a lesson before my return. I used also to carry bread with me, enough of which was always in the house, and to which I was always welcome; for I was much better off in this regard than many of the poor white children in our neighborhood. This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me that more valuable bread of knowledge. 

I am strongly tempted to give the names of two or three of those little boys, as a testimonial of the gratitude and affection I bear them; but prudence forbids;–not that it would injure me, but it might embarrass them; for it is almost an unpardonable offence to teach slaves to read in this Christian country.” 

Some great photos and content about Cedar Hill from D.C. Confidential here.

Photo of the Day_February 25, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 25, 2010

Courtesy Wash Syndicate


The Syndicate posts this photo taken at the corner of E Chew Avenue and New Lane in Saint Michaels, Maryland in humble anticipation of summer arriving sooner than later.

U.S. Commission of Fine Arts says confused tourists can stay confused

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 25, 2010

Courtesy of DC tourists AND locals


Welcome to D.C. where our Monuments need no labels.     

In the latest round of the constant fight between locals and tourists, locals have, however small, earned a well deserved victory.     

According to the AP, “The National Park Service is backing away from a plan to add small stone labels to the major memorials on the National Mall after a federal arts panel rejected the idea.”     

A week ago, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts voted down the measure, saying iconic monuments transcend the need for labels because of their place in the collective national consciousness. The Park service has conducted research that has shown many out-of-town visitors simply don’t know what they’re looking at when they see some of the monuments in D.C.     

The panel said the markings would clutter the mall with seemingly corporate signage. Commission member Pamela Nelson said they looked like “tombstones.”     

The Wash Syndicate unanimously agrees with the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts that the city’s historic monumental character must be maintained in loyalty to its founding forefathers not its annual swarm of confused and sometimes odorous tourists. The Syndicate has enjoyed the monuments since elementary school and does not support altering the traditional appearance of our monuments. We advocate for the continued maintenance and staffing of all our national treasures; enjoyed by both locals and out-of-towners.     

The Wash Syndicate along with others such as why.i.hate.dc  can sometimes, more usually often, adopt a fiercely adversarial disposition towards tourists. With years of downtown summer mobbing  behind The Syndicate, after a long winter, the city can look forward to welcoming tourists even if it means crowded trains and random uninformed questions.     

The local ire for tourists has nothing to do with economics. We recognize the commerce tourists bring and their importance to the local economy. Instead, our ill will is directed at tourists, because we feel more favorable policies are often adopted to benefit tourists at our local detriment. Real or perceived, that is how we feel.     

To rest our case, The Syndicate needs to look no further than this story, from December of 1995 during the Federal Government shut down,    

“The Federal Information Network has unveiled a site for confused tourists in Washington, D.C., who aren’t sure which museums and monuments are closed due to the government shutdown.”     

Tourists might have won back then, but we are winning now. The Syndicate hopes to see and live through a local winning streak that extends decades and in perpetuity. However, we look forward to tourists returning this summer as we will then know snow is long gone. The Syndicate will trade snow for tourists after this winter.     

Check out this great blog, DC tourists AND locals, focusing exclusively on the seasonal and mobile memorial that erect themselves throughout our city, hordes of confused tourists.     

Yahoo News link here, NBC Washington     

A separate Wash Post story from last Friday, “Park Service presents plan to renovate Mall to Commission of Fine Arts”.   

The Mall — the worn out, trampled down, 700 acres of Washington that is visited by as many as 25 million people a year — would get an end-to-end facelift, according to the draft of a National Park Service plan presented Thursday to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.   

The 600-page document, several years and evolutions in the making, is the Park Service’s latest attempt to address the chronically shabby conditions on the Mall, from soil so compacted it contains no living organisms to the sinking seawall that surrounds the Tidal Basin.   

The plan, whose initial options were first made public two years ago, has been boiled down to the Park Service’s “preferred” alternative that was presented to the arts commission Thursday. The public can comment on the proposal until March 18 by visiting   

The Mall, despite its condition, is often visited by local residents, said Susan Spain, the Mall plan project executive.   

“Many people go to the National Mall three or four times a year,” she said. “But for a few people it may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It may be their pilgrimage to learn about what it means to be an American.”   

The plan, whose implementation is expected to cost between $606 million and $648 million, is somewhat general in nature.   

Thanks again to the H-DC listserv for breaking the news to The Syndicate.

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Photo of the Day_February 24, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 24, 2010

Courtesy of Wash Syndicate


This 2004 photo of the southwest corner of 9th & T Street NW, across the street from Maya Angelou and this long awaited fix up, serves as a reminder that your taxes should be ready to file. There are free tax preparation services available through the United Planning Organization and in previous years at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library.

MD License Plate of the Day_”1MORDAY”

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 23, 2010

Yes, yes. After an oppresive winter “1 MOR DAY” until Spring eventually arrives. Amen.

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UPDATED: 15 yr. old shot and killed Uptown

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 22, 2010

Taken years ago on the back of a city bus. Courtesy DreamCity News Corporation.


NBC4 is reporting on their morning broadcast a 15 year old was shot last night between 9:15 pm and 9:30pm in the 6200 block of 7th Street by Rittenhouse St. He has since died. More details surely to come during the day.      

The Syndicate came up Uptown and knows the rep of Rittenhouse Street.      

Basic limited info from ABC7 here.     

Found this 2002 District Chronicles article about the then “new” condos at 1000 and 1008 Rittenhouse Street, on the Southwest corner of Georgia Avenue.   

From the Post (2.23.10) here.   

 15-year-old D.C. youth was fatally shot Sunday night in Northwest Washington.  

Police said Joel Watkins of the 600 block of Jefferson Street NW was shot about 9:30 p.m. near Seventh and Rittenhouse streets. He apparently is the youngest person slain this year in the District.   

No motive in the killing in the Brightwood/Manor Park area could be learned Monday night.   

“We don’t know a lot about what happened,” said D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4).   

She said she did not know what the youth was doing in the neighborhood where he was shot, about a mile north of his home.   

Several residents of that neighborhood said they heard shots in rapid succession.   

“I heard three shots,” one neighbor said. “That shook me up.” He said the sound made him ask, “What is happening here in this neighborhood?” which he described as relatively quiet.   

He said he watched as police with shovels dug for hours in the snow, apparently for evidence.   

According to Bowser, Joel attended the Transition Academy at Shadd, which the D.C. Public Schools Web site describes as a special education school for grades 9 through 12 in the 5600 block of East Capitol Street SE. A neighborhood resident said he was one of three siblings.   

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Washington in the ’70s premiers tonight @ 9pm on WETA

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 22, 2010
901 G in its early days. Photo courtesy of 901 G via DreamCity.

Is the August 1972 opening of Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library mentioned? It better be. Terrance Johnson (even though this would have technically been PG County he impacted the entire metro area)? 

Nice review from the Post here.  

WETA link with some great content; including preview, soundtrack, quotes, photos, and programming schedule, etc. here.


H/T to Wash Informer for a more accurate review than the Post. The Syndicate was disappointed to see so many members of the old guard, but it was good to see Sam Smith. WETA could, and should, do a better job, but they are the old guard so they won’t break it down to the opening of 901 G. 

From the WI..

This documentary gives an overall tourist look at what Washington D.C., was in the 1970s. It talks about the attractions, four of the major sports teams and a few of the political upheavals, trials and tribulations of this small metropolis, but it never talks about its citizens. The missing voice of the everyday District resident takes away from what it may have meant to be a Washingtonian in the 70s.

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New Snow Removal Plan for future DC storms?

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 22, 2010

Saw this on why.i.hate.dc. The Syndicate feels (as we all apparently should when seeing a woman in a wheelchair shoveling out a bus stop) bad, but then again the woman goes harder than our Mayor so shovel on with your bad go-hard self. We ain’t mad at ya. Does Ms. Wheelchair DC now have an issue in which to launch her Mayoral campaign?

From why.i.hate….

The New Snow Removal Plan for the Nation’s Capital:

Legions of elderly women in wheelchairs will be deployed during the next major snowfall to hit the Nation’s Capital. Here is a quick look at a beta version of this new snow removal system. Armed with their two-foot long shovels and orange safety vests, these intrepid ladies will clear out your neighborhood in no time!

Just took this today – two weeks after the snow began to fall. Wouldn’t it be nice if a wheelchair-bound elderly woman wouldn’t have to shovel through two feet of snow to get on a bus? I know the Washington, DC Government and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority had their hands full with the past blizzard, but this is ridiculous. I filmed her for six seconds then put the camera down to go help her out…but her bus came seconds later. She had to wheel herself out through a driveway.

A piece in yesterday’s Outlook section said Councilmember Fenty would be calling out Mayor Fenty. Yep.

Fenty the Council member wouldn’t have been cowed by a couple of feet of snow. If he didn’t commandeer a plow and run it himself, I would have at least expected him to call a news conference, climb atop one of those grimy, gray snow mounds and give voice to the frustrations of his constituents who are outraged that it has taken the city too long to get to the many streets and sidewalks that remain wholly or partially clogged with snow and ice.

That’s essentially what he did in February 2003, when residents criticized Mayor Williams for not clearing roughly a foot and a half of snow quickly enough. To be fair, that year’s snowstorm wasn’t in the same class as this winter’s blizzards. But the bow-tie-wearing Williams didn’t even get credit for cutting short a Caribbean vacation and coming back to the city in the midst of the storm. Council member Fenty certainly didn’t cut him any slack, lobbing this snowball, as reported in The Washington Post: “The [mayor] for some reason thinks it’s helpful to come on television and announce they’ve done a good job. That doesn’t make residents feel any better when their individual streets haven’t been plowed, and it doesn’t leave me the impression they are measuring this objectively.”

Fast forward to this month, and this is what Mayor Fenty said in response to residents’ complaints: “Our residential plows have been doing a good job, but this is a historic snowfall in many ways. . . . They literally could not have worked any harder.”

Lastly, The Syndicate must give Greater Greater Washington its due respect and props for going hard, as well. When chatter arises about the utility of blogs/social media/etc in shaping the evolution or devolution of our historic sense of community, please look no further than what GGW organized for the benefit of our city to see where and how our keyboards and community can MOB up and MOB together.  GGW for Mayor?

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Gwen Ifill Speaks at MLK Library @ 7pm _ February 22, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 22, 2010

The Syndicate was birthed, baptized, and raised at 901 G Street NW and as a result has had the opportunity to hear many speakers over the years including Dorothy Height, Donna Brazile, Kurt Schmoke, and Eddie Ellis to name a select few.

On Monday, February 22 at 7 p.m., Gwen Ifill, managing editor and moderator for PBS’ “Washington Week” will discuss race in American politics and her best-selling book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

A book sale and signing will follow the program.  MLK Library is located at 901 G St. N.W., near the Metro Center and Gallery Place subway stations.

The Syndicate encourages everyone to attend and support the city’s library system while hours are increasingly being cut to the detriment of our future.

DCPL press release here.


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