Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Growler's Back!

Forgive the long hiatus, dear readers, but the Growler's been kicking back for the last month, visiting the native turf out West and recharging the ole batteries.

A lot has happened in the Cranky One's absence. There are window boxes with flowers at the former barber shop in the 1100 block of Queen Street — a nice change for the Spa Court.

Sarge's Restaurant has still not reopened after the recent fire and there's a huge question mark whether it ever will.

The construction fences are mostly gone at the Monarch, but the place is ringed with dead or dying trees. Did the toxic architecture do them in?

Jefferson-Houston test scores improved, but the elementary school didn't make AYP. Neither did Cora Kelly. School administrators are blaming changes in federal rules for the No Child Left Behind program and vowed to try hard again next year.

We have commenters (shills?) on this blog already crowing that CVS will anchor the Madison development, a project which has not yet been docketed for Planning Commission review. Forgive the Growler for being skeptical, but given the history of premature tenant announcements — remember someone proclaiming CVS was coming to the Monarch on this very same blog months ago — and given the Harris-Teeter debacle, the Cranky One will prefer to wait for the official announcement from CVS or from AEDP.

It seems ARHA is proceeding with the eviction of a tenant whose son, also on the ARHA lease, was arrested on a drug charge. Was anyone else in this community aware that a "one-strike" policy was even in effect at the agency?

There's lots yet to come in the next few weeks, and much of it will be of critical importance to Parker-Gray residents.

First, we have the announcement that the highly-anticipated Kramer report will be released in mid-September, to be followed by a public meeting at 7 PM on Monday, September 24 at Jefferson-Houston School.

Has anyone else noticed that what will be delivered is apparently not a new and revised Braddock Road plan, but a report on the stakeholder interviews? Hmmmm ..... When do we see the revamped small area plan? Or, as some in the neighborhood predict, is there no intention of rethinking the plan? Has Kramer has been retained to drum up supporters (even if they live outside the neighborhood), with the goal of getting the original plan triumphantly forwarded without change to Planning Commission?

Second, we were told earlier this year that there would be public meetings on the draft Ad Hoc Transportation Committee's report. None have yet been announced, but Patrick and Henry Street residents and opponents of BRT can brace themselves for that one.

Then there's our perennial favorite ARHA. Is the well-publicized eviction story an effort to look tough in order to deflect criticism of a possible City Council bailout of the troubled housing authority?

Finally, whatever became of the Parker-Gray Historic District nomination to the state and federal registers of historic places? This Lazarus-like project rose from the dead last year based on citizen pressure, but is the City still secretly hoping to kill it and thus clear the path for developers to pave over the neighborhood?

So back into the fray, folks ...