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The Crest May 2010

Tue, June 13, 2017 5:30 PM | Anonymous member

Police, Community React to Increase In Crime

Since spring began, crime has been on the rise in Crestwood--including a pair of street robberies, along with a spate of break-ins and thefts from autos.

Representatives from the fourth district of the Metropolitan Police will appear at the Association meeting May 18 to discuss these incidents, the arrests they have made, and their efforts to put an end to these crimes.

Some of the surge in crime has been stemmed with the help of a Crestwood resident who took photos of suspects. If you see individuals who appear suspicious--and you can take a picture safely, without endangering yourself in any way--do so and provide it to the police. For other crime prevention hints, consult the bottom of the "Crime/Police Information" page of our website,

You can also use the website to join the Crestwood Neighborhood Email List. The list-serve has been valuable in alerting residents to recent crimes. Also, since young people have been involved in many of these incidents, there has been a lively discussion about the way the District treats minors involved in crimes.

The crime statistics for April, which can be found on the website, are reprinted below. Incidents in early May have included thefts from auto, a stolen car and the theft of copper gutters from Grace Church and a local home.

From April 1 through April 30, 2010

Offense Total PSA404 Near Crestwood In Crestwood In Crestwood Mon - Thu In Crestwood Fri - Sun
Assault 18 4 1 1
Burglary 10 3 3 2 1
Homicide 0
Robbery 14 2 2 2
Stolen Auto 13
Theft 15 3 3 2 1
Theft from Auto 19 3 4 4
Other 75 13 3 3
Total 164* 30* 16* 11 5

* Data include 18 crimes in March (one was in Crestwood) that MPD had not previously reported.

Crestwood Crimes By Block:

Thefts from Auto (4):
1600 Crittenden St (Thu, 4/8, 4:00 pm)
3900 Argyle Ter (Mon, 4/26, 9:00 am)
4300 Argyle Ter (Mon, 4/12, 3:30 pm)
4700 Colorado Av (Thu, 4/29, 11:00pm)
Robberies (2):
4000 16th Street (Sun, 4/11, 11:50 pm)
1700 Varnum St (Sun, 4/4, 12:15 am)
Burglaries (3):
1600 Taylor St (Fri, 4/30, ? am)
1600 Upshur St (Thu, 4/15, 1:15 am)
3800 Argyle Ter (Thu, 4/29, 12:40 pm)
Assault (1):
4700 16th Street (Fri, 3/26, 1:00 pm)
Thefts (3):
2000 Trumbull Ter (Thu, 4/22, 7:00 am)
4300 16th Street (Sun, 4/4, 7:00 am)
4700 16th Street (Thu, 4/1, 10:00 pm)
Property Destruction/Damage (3):
1800 Taylor St (Thu, 4/29, 4:10 pm)
1800 Varnum St (Tue, 4/27, 7:00 am)
4500 Blagden Ave (Wed, 4/7, 5:00 pm)

Crestwood & Area Trends:

-- In Crestwood (16th St. & west), 16 crimes were reported in April, up from 9 in March and a 7-month high..

-- Also in Crestwood, the 8 burglaries, thefts & robberies were up from 2 in March, and at least 10 of the 16 crimes were during daylight hours..

-- Near Crestwood (PSA 404, 14th St. & west to 16th St.), 30 crimes were reported in April, down from 37 in March. Twenty-three were on or near 14th St..

Members To Elect Association Leadership

The Crestwood Citizens Association will hold its annual elections at the meeting on May 18th--as members vote for officers of the Association and delegates to the Citizens Federation, and designate block contacts.

The Association has issued several calls for nominations for officers and Board members. Most of the neighbors currently in office have agreed to serve for another year. However, we need a candidate for Secretary, and we encourage members to step forward for that office or for any of the leadership posts. Please contact the Association's Communications Director, Tom Chused.

The Board governs the Association, and officers serve for one-year terms which continue until a new officer is selected. More information may be found online. Here is the proposed slate for 2010-2011:

President: Gale Black
Vice President/Crest: David Swerdloff
Vice President/Green Team: Doug Barker
Vice Presidents/Social: George & Debbie Chaconas
Secretary: Vacant
Treasurer: Ellen Wormser
Communications & Website: Tom Chused
Kids Team: Nicole Skinner, Sara Moghadam Pietras and Kara Morgan
Safety and Police: John Ostenso
Issues: Gale Black

Author to Discuss Peirce Family History
More Than the Mill

Throughout most of the history of our neighborhood, the Peirces and their descendants have lived right next door. We will learn about this fascinating family at a special presentation at the May 18th Association meeting by Steve Dryden, vice-president of Friends of Peirce Mill. An environmental and preservation activist, Mr. Dryden is the author of the recent book, Peirce Mill: Two Hundred Years in the Nation's Capital.

Only photos remain of the mills that operated on the estate that became Crestwood. But soon the millstones will be grinding once again a short walk down the creek at Peirce Mill, one of the few buildings still standing that can attest to DC's agrarian past. Mr. Dryden will tell the story of the mill, and describe how the Peirces went on to build a lucrative horticulture business that brought many visitors to our area. Family members then joined with Thomas Blagden in pushing for improvements that led to the development of Crestwood and its environs. And Peirce descendants went off in other directions, as well--including Hollywood.

Have Your Say about the Neighborhood's Hot Issues

Quite a few topics have been sparking conversation on the Crestwood list-serve. The May 18th meeting will give you an opportunity to give the Association your input on such issues as:

  • Our recent spike in crime, and reforms that might keep juveniles from becoming repeat offenders;
  • The city's efforts to put sidewalks on at least one side of the street on every block which does not have them;
  • Zoning regulations that are now being updated; and,
  • The District's attempts to tack on new fees to help pay for necessary services such as street lights and electricity.

Green Team Report

A Good Spring Cleaning;
Then Helping the Crestwood Tree Project Branch Out

The Crestwood Citizens Association's Green Team had another successful clean-up on April 10th. More than 20 volunteers from the neighborhood and beyond picked up all the trash along Piney Branch from the area beneath the 16th Street bridge to Rock Creek, and also along the stream beside Blagden Drive. The spring event was part of two wider efforts: the second annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup sponsored by the Friends of Rock Creek's Environment (FORCE) and the Alice Ferguson Foundation's Trash Free Potomac River Watershed Initiative. Volunteers collected 30 bags of trash and 7 bags of recyclables that the National Park Service collected after the event. The amount of trash found along Piney Branch was somewhat less than in previous years. This same positive trend was reported from many of the other 50+ cleanup sites along the 33 miles of Rock Creek from Laytonsville in upper Montgomery County to the Potomac River.

Our Trees

The Green Team's Crestwood Tree Project Working Group is gearing up for a new planting season and the next phase of the neighborhood's partnership with Casey Trees. This is a ten-year initiative to restore and protect the trees of Crestwood that add so much to the beauty, health and value of our community.

At a recent meeting, the Working Group developed a schedule for 2010 and reviewed what was learned from last year's pilot project, which included a tree inventory and planting activities in the pilot areas.

The review showed that the 30 homeowners who received the more-than 40 trees donated by Casey Trees were satisfied with the tree specimens and with the planting assistance. Support from Casey Trees was not only available, but also positive, knowledgeable and results-oriented. As we go forward, ongoing tree maintenance will be a significant concern in order to make the most of the trees that were planted and keep the neighborhood's existing trees safe and healthy. The Tree Project process could be streamlined to make it easier for homeowners to participate. And, finally, the tree inventory prepared in September was under-utilized in planning and executing the tree plantings.

Looking ahead to activities this summer and fall, the Tree Project Working Group made a number of decisions that build on last year's experience. First, the preparation schedule will be simplified. It calls for neighborhood meetings in July, an inventory in September, and plantings in late October or early November. The Tree Project will be extended to three new blocks: Upshur Street west from Argyle Terrace, the 1800 block of Taylor Street, and the 1800 block of Shepherd Street. Tree Project captains for these blocks are Betsy Kraft for Upshur and Steve Klein for Taylor, with the captain for Shepherd yet to be determined.

More information on planned events will be forthcoming later in the year. Anyone interested in helping with the plans and activities should contact any of the following members of the Tree Project Working Group: Doug Barker (Quincy Street), Peggy Beers (Quincy Street), Bill Bentley (Crestwood Drive), Gale Black (Crestwood Drive), Steve Klein (Taylor Street), Betsy Kraft (Upshur Street), Beverly and John Ostenso (Varnum Street), Frank Samuel (Randolph Street).

The Green Team would like to thank the many volunteers who helped make 2009 a very successful first year for the Crestwood Tree Project!

Kids Team Serious About Having Fun

As pictured above, the Association's Kids Team had another successful Easter Egg Hunt. Planning is underway for this year's Fourth of July Kids Parade, which will likely be on the Third of July this year. Stay tuned!

The Crestwood Directory:
A Great Perk of Association Membership 

The 2010 Crestwood Directory is nearly ready for distribution to members of the Crestwood Citizens Association. This information, which is not available online, will help you connect with your neighbors.

Who has interests like yours? Which families have kids the same age or at the same schools? How do you contact someone on your block in an emergency? The answers are all in the 2010 Crestwood Directory.

Joining the Association is easy. Contact Treasurer Ellen Wormser (Upshur Street) with your dues: $25 per family or $20 for a single person household. While the boundaries of the Association reach only as far north as Varnum Street, the membership is available to residents on adjacent streets who wish to participate.

A Year of Results

The annual May meeting brings the Association's year to a close.

Looking back, we have had a positive impact on the neighborhood and the District.

In addition to the Green Team and Kids Team projects described above, and the printing of a new Crestwood Directory, the Association and ANC 4A have spoken for the community on a number of issues:

  • The efforts of the Association and ANC 4A helped to finally get the pathway built down Blagden Avenue and get new paving on Broad Branch Road. The next step is to keep pushing to extend the path further up Blagden, add safety features for pedestrians near Beach Drive, and get Broad Branch Road rebuilt so that it doesn't fall into the creek.
  • The city has proposed rulemaking (see the 4/30 DC Register) to eliminate the hourly restrictions on parking after 6:30 pm. The Association encouraged ANC 4A in its vote to support that change.
  • The Association submitted a list of DC budget priorities, which was relayed through the ANC to the Council.
  • Association President Gale Black testified twice before the Council on water quality and urged the city to do more to address contaminants in the water and to implement storm water standards. The city has just released a list of impaired waters--and it was no surprise to us that we live right next to the filth that can flow into Rock Creek and Piney Branch at a number of sites.
  • The Association has closely monitored PEPCO's performance in the neighborhood. ANC 4A opposed the utility's request for a distribution rate hike and was partially successful.
  • In recent ANC action, the commissioners have opposed efforts to open a new pawn shop within the 4A area. At the May 4th ANC 4A meeting, the commissioners voted to support the request of the YuYing School to open in Ward 4 (likely at Walter Reed). The ANC also heard from Howard University Hospital on its request to relocate to the Walter Reed site.

    We look forward, with your active participation, to a 2010-2011 Association year that will make Crestwood an even better place to live!

This website and the Crestwood Citizens Association is supported by the dues of CCA members. Membership has its benefits including access to members-only resources and the knowledge that you are supporting a great neighborhood!

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