The Washington Syndicate

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.

Georgia Theatre facade lost forever as city’s history continues to fade

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on February 22, 2010

Courtesy of DreamCity


The Syndicate saw this post at Park View DC and got pissed off, man. We understand capitalism rules, but at what expense do we continue to devalue our city’s fading history?         

The Syndicate remembers being in a meeting, nearly 2.5 years ago, with the developer, ANC, DC Preservation League, and Office of Historic Preservation staff over on North Capitol Street to discuss the development of this property after looking up the original “city plats” in the Washingtoniana room of MLK. All we, the community, asked was that the historic and original “Georgia” facade was maintained. The developer (when I find the name will publish) said, being Greek, he knew a “little about history.”           

Apparently he knows not nor cares about the city’s history. It is sad to see the city’s history disappear before our eyes.           

In the summer of 2006 my friend and I wrote and produced a play about the 70 bus at MLK Library that runs by this property nearly 24 hours a day. It would have been great to see this one-time theatre become a neighborhood arts or cultural learning center, but cash rules everything around us.           

The current building is aesthetically disgusting and in The Syndicate’s untrained yet community reared opinion not worth $00.01 of the more than $2 million that was used to finance the construction.           

We do not support the destruction of our city history, but realize that if the facade was destined to be saved it would have been bought by a more community conscious investor. Simple as that.           

Below is excerpted from Park View DC….           


“Despite efforts to save the historic Georgia Theater for posterity — and a signed agreement with a developer to retain and rebuild its façade — it has been absent from Georgia Avenue since 2007.            

The Georgia Theater was built in 1912 and at the time it was dismantled was Washington’s oldest surviving theater after the Minnehaha, which today houses Ben’s Chili Bowl. It was designed by B. Frank Myers and was part of a one story brick strip that contained three stores and the theater valued at $7,000 to build. In October 1917 it was renamed Park View, but soon afterward became a store and eventually an auto repair shop.           

Former Georgia Theater shortly before it was demolished. Image courtesy of Peter Sefton. 

In 2005, the D.C. Preservation League (DCPL) Landmarks committee was advised that the theater building had been sold, but that its historic features would be incorporated into a condominium project. Yet, in 2007 a demolition permit application had been filed. At that point the Georgia had seen better days. A truck had rebounded from a collision earlier that spring damaging the corner of the building and causing the developer to opt for demolition rather that incorporating the theater into the project.       


3422 Georgia Avenue today          

 DCPL negotiated an agreement in 2007 with the developer to “carefully dismantle the façade of the building and move it to a secure location for storage during construction. Before dismantling, it [was to] be documented through measured drawings and/or photographs sufficient to accurately reconstruct it. Elements of the façade to be restored for reinstallation include[d] the sign; the brick piers, front wall, and parapet; and the metal frieze, cornice, coping and all decorative elements. In addition, the missing finials, seen in the original permit drawings [were to] be reinstalled in cast stone or a similar material. All materials removed [were to] be repaired and reused, not replaced.”           

As 2010 began the new structure appeared to be complete with the exception of the façade … which begs the question: Should the community fight to have this historically significant façade returned to Georgia Avenue? It’s certainly something I feel strongly about getting back.”

The Syndicate feels as strongly, if not stronger, that the city’s history is valuable and not disposable in exchange for, agreeably needed, development.


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