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WARD 1

OPTING OUT OF "PUB CRAWLS:" Transfer of Acapulco Restaurantís liquor license to a new owner was approved March 6 by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board after the Adams Morgan establishmentís owner agreed not to promote or participate in controversial "pub crawls" and pledged to encourage his restaurantís patrons and employees to be considerate of neighboring residents at all times. New owner Steven Georgilakis told the ABC Board that his Mediterranean restaurant, at 2450 18th St. NW, will operate as a full-service restaurant up to its closing time at 2 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Georgilakis, who signed a voluntary agreement with Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C on Feb. 19 regarding respect for residential neighbors, said his establishment will have no dancing or entertainment and will play only background music.

WARD 2

FREE PROPERTY TAX CLINIC: In response to community concerns over recent large increases in property tax assessments, the Ward 2 Democrats will sponsor a free workshop on March 19 to help residents evaluate their tax assessments and determine whether to challenge them. The session, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., will be held in Room 104 at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The free event will feature real estate assessment expert Carol Mitten of Mitten and Reynolds.

Many city residents have recently complained of new residential property tax assessments that are 25 percent or higher than their previous assessments. The deadline for residents to challenge property tax assessments is April 1.

WARD 3

ANNUAL BOOK SALE: Thousands of previously owned books, records, compact discs, tapes and videos will be available for sale March 16-17 at the Cleveland Park Branch Library during the annual spring book sale to benefit the neighborhood library. Hours for the sale, sponsored by the Friends of the Cleveland Park Library, are noon to 4 p.m. each day.

Most books will be priced at $1 for hard covers and 50 cents for paperbacks, according to the event organizers. Paperback mysteries, romances and science fiction will be priced at 10 cents each. Also featured among the donated items for the sale will be specially priced books Ė such as first editions, large format art books and "coffee table" books.

The library is located at Connecticut Avenue and Macomb Street NW, one block south of the Cleveland Park Metro station on the red line.

WARD 4

PUBLIC WORKS MEETING: Councilman Adrian Fenty has announced his monthly town hall meeting for March will focus on Ward 4 residentsí concerns and problems related to services provided by the Department of Public Works. Among items on the meetingís agenda are street and alley cleaning, trash removal, abandoned vehicles, recycling and parking. Featured guest at the March 21 meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., will be DPW Director Leslie Hotaling. The meeting will be held at St. Johnís College High School at Military Road and 27th Street NW.

WARD 5

CRIME SUMMIT: Councilman Vincent Orange has announced a town hall meeting on March 16, to be focused on community policing. The meeting, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be held at St. Francis Hall, 1340 Quincy St. NE. Representatives of the Metropolitan Police Department expected to be in attendance include Third District Commander Cheryl Peacock, Fourth District Commander Cathy Lanier, Fifth District Commander Jennifer Green and Assistant Chief Brian K. Jordan, who heads the Central Regional Operations Command. Patrol Service Area officers also are expected to attend.

NEW KMART ON HOLD: Kmart Corp. officials announced March 8 that plans to build the companyís first store in the District of Columbia have been put "on hold" as part of the financially troubled retailerís efforts to remain afloat. The announcement about the planned Brentwood Road NE store came on the same day that the Michigan-based discount chain announced it will close almost 300 stores nationwide as part of its financial reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection. Site preparation work for the Northeast Washington store has been in progress, but construction had not begun.

WARD 6

U.S. ATTORNEY TO SPEAK: Roscoe Howard, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, will be the featured speaker for the monthly meeting of Patrol Service Area 106 on March 14. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the old Logan School at Second and G streets NE. Members of the public should enter the building from the Second Street parking lot.

ZONING UPDATES: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6Aís Zoning and Licensing Committee will meet at 7 p.m. March 13 in the public room at Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G St. NE. The committee considers neighborhood regulatory issues on which the ANCís position is required to be afforded "great weight" by city agencies. For more information, contact Commissioner Greg Ferrell at (202) 388-4732.

WARD 7

SUPPORT FOR TRAFFIC CAMERAS: Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7B recently approved a resolution that says it "strongly supports" the use of controversial photo-radar and red-light cameras by the Metropolitan Police Department. The resolution, approved at the commissionís February monthly meeting, cited safety concerns and called use of the cameras "an effort to prevent needless injuries and deaths caused by reckless drivers." The ANC also has requested replacement of "much-needed" red-light cameras that were removed from the intersections of Branch and Alabama avenues SE and Pennsylvania and Minnesota avenues SE.

WARD 8

NORTON TO SPEAK: Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. delegate to Congress, will be the featured speaker at the next monthly meeting of the Ward 8 Democrats. The meeting is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. March 16 at the Washington Highlands Branch Library, 115 Atlantic St. SW.

AUDITOR CRITICIZES ANC GRANT: D.C. Auditor Deborah K. Nichols says a $500 grant that Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8C made to support the Congress Heights Day community festival in 2000 violated a legal prohibition against using ANC funds for entertainment purposes. A routine audit of the ANCís financial records from Oct. 1, 1999, through Dec. 31, 2001, found that the money was given to the Congress Heights Community Association "to purchase trophies and refreshments" for the festival.

In an audit report issued Feb. 13, Nichols said the ANC "must refrain from expending ANC funds, directly or through the award of grants, for food and entertainment purposes, except for nominal refreshments at ANC monthly public meetings."

The auditorís report also criticized the Chief Financial Officerís Office of Financial Operations and Systems for "erroneously transferring two quarterly allotments to ANC 8Cís bank account that the ANC was not entitled to receive." Nichols recommended that the ANC "immediately reimburse" the $9,694.22 to the D.C. treasury and provide proof of having done so to her office by March 15.

Despite these problems, Nicholsí report said the examination of the ANCís books, records, accounts and inventory "determined that ANC 8C substantially complied" with relevant financial laws and guidelines during the period covered by the audit.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator