A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.
Sorry for hijacking the Sticky Rice post, but Inked, there’s something from today’s Post (G Sec.) that I think deserves its own headline for discussion: Director of H St. Main Street, Anwar Salaam, owes $18,625.13 in back H St. property taxes. The reason I think this is discussion worthy: How can residents depend on the person who’s charged with business improvement along the corridor when he doesn’t pay his own H St. property taxes? Didn’t a big part of the BID discussion revolve around the fact that it would raise taxes on the area business owners? No wonder there was resistance from Anwar. Wouldn’t any significant improvement along the corridor result in higher property values and ultimately higher taxes? Was Joe Englert and other successful business owners on H always a threat to Anwar and the taxes he already owes? As the Director of H St. Main St., Anwar is a local public figure and I think his commitment to the improvement and future of H St. should be a public discussion.- A Tax Payer
agreed.i've been after this futile anwar character forever.i don't understand why he has so much support. it's mind boggling.
Joe Englert said; I wouldn't be so quick to condemn someone from info posted in the newspaper. Several of my properties showed up on this list even when all taxes were paid. Also, 1238 h st. n.e. continually shows up on the vacant property list--this is Granville Moore. Even showing my c of o, restaurant reviews and payroll reports were not enough to sway the government from taking me off for quite awhile. I have been sent notices that my liquor licenses were expired when I had two years to go, too. Don't believe what you read and also know that if you have a lot going on, invariably something goes wrong...........
Poo poo,Anwar has support because he actually does things for the community. You on the other hand do nothing. I challenge you to point to one thing you have done to improve this community yourself. I have asked you this before ......I have even provided you with my personal email so that you can get involved and I received nothing from you. Stop attacking Anwar and ask yourself if you contribute anything besides poopoo comments. As for Anwar's tax records....DC is the worst at recording taxes. I have been living in my biulding for 3 years and just got a vacant property tax for $14K. Don't trust that DC's record are up to snuff.Mike
I'm in total agreement with PooPoo on this one - and actually disagree with Joe.PooPoo, I agree the support for Anwar is mind boggling. I don't think he's done much of anything for H St.Joe, The Post and DC Gov. might be wrong and have listed some of your properties as owing back taxes, but you don't head up an organization called "H St. Main St." where all of us property owners are looking at the organization to make positive, productive changes on the corridor. Anwar OWES us an explination if we're still to believe him to be a leader for H St. Nothing less should satisfy the H St. tax-paying public!Mike, you can not accuse PooPoo for "doing nothing" when you have no idea who he is. He could be the Mayor for all we know. I have no idea who "Mike" is and what you have done. You could be Anwar defending yourself for all I know.- A Tax Payer (that thinks Anwar owes us an explination).
mikey poo.ummmm. i haven't received any email from you (unless it got lost in the spam). not sure how you've sent it to me, as emails on frozentropics aren't public. interesting.you accuse me of not doing anything for the community?ummm. what have YOU done? go ahead, i'm curious.not that i have to stoop to your level and justify anything, but you might be interested in a few facts.i've just spent a ton of $$ renovating my house. it's no longer an eyesore in the hood.i've made dozens of calls on everything from prostitutes to trash problems to muggings to the DOT folks that work on the roads to providing uncompensated help to other folks that are trying to renovate their curbside appeal, as well as fix up their homes.i clean up my alley ON MY OWN, so that it's not so trashy.i helped DCMPD close up an abandoned house that housed illicit activities. my contractor helped seal the place, and i paid them for it - at DCMPD's request.i've spent my own $ on keeping a vacant house from not looking so "vacant". i've planted trees in the neighborhood, as well as called the city to get rid of dead ones.seriously. i'm one of the folks that keep my eyes open, and ACT as soon as i see anything that isn't kosher.i could go on.what have you done? let's hear it, i'm really curious.about the anwar character (the person that really is doing a lot less than he could), i'll retract my comment on the taxes.i recently received a $30,000.00 tax bill from DC that dates back to 2004. all the taxes are paid. i am now working with attorneys to rectify the situation (or the claim they will auction off the house), and yeah, i'm paying for it.even if anwar is dealing with a dc backlog on updating his tax records, he is still a lame duck.he lives in the 90's when doing 'barely anything' was more than nothing for h street.we're in a different stage of h street development, mikey poo.anwar, as lame as he is, is going to have to deal with mayor williams, who owns a condo at senate squate.williams still has "pull", and you can bet he will hold AnWaR accountable for .... doing nothing. nothing that you could actually quantify. if he is doing anything quantifiable, how come the general populous doesn't know about it?yes, i called the cops on a hooker that was actually on the corner of 3rd and eye street two weekends ago.that's williams' block.tell me this: what's the last thing AnWaR has done that has been mentioned....... anywhere? he's a public figure. i hold him accountable.'nuff said, mikey poo.or should i call you anonymous?or should i call you by your full name?
Poo Poo,Thank you for admitting that you were wrong. As for one thing....just one that Anwar has done......who do you think is out there in blue, clean up H street NE from the mountain of litter? They are a "Ready to Work" group hired by HSMS. You live a in fantasy world if you think just because a former mayor may move in here it "has to get better". Mikey Poo
Mikey Poo has a point about living "a in fantasy world if you think just because a former mayor may move in here it "has to get better". Things might not change. I remember when Police Chief Thomas moved into my old neighborhood in far southeast. Every night, he drove past the group of drug dealers sitting along a fence on Pennsyvania ave SE. Finally one evening the knucleheads shot two very young brothers with the last name of Little. They were playing football in their own front yard. The word was that one one of the brothers had seen something that he shouldn't have. I don't think that Chief Thomas even solved their murder.
poo poo,as a frequent reader of frozen tropics i think you have to justify any of your comments. i know you spent a lot of money at hopkins on marketing, but i think you should have spent some $ on person to person relationship training. your abrasive, self righteous comments often distract from the points you are trying to make. keep up your concern from the neighborhood, but try to be a little less rude. thanks.and a never ending thanks to inked for running this blog. i hope you get the results you were looking for on the bar!
Dammit all. I wear one lowcut unisex outfit on 3rd and H, and Poo Poo calls the cops on me.As for hooking, it's not illegal if I'm not charging, right?I can't speak to Anwar's tax status, but I have to agree with Joe. NEVER trust a DC office with stats like tax status, business license status, etc. as the final word. Their records are notoriously unreliable. Especially any sort of online record.
Anwar, as a public figure, still owes us some type of explanation that the Post was mistaken about his back taxes. Eglert has given an explanation and even PooPoo has admitted that DC's tax records were wrong about him at one time. Where is Anwar’s outrage that the Post has reported this blatant error that tarnishes his reputation as THE representative that is charged with improving H St. as now owing back taxes on his H St. properties?Thank you PooPoo for listing your contributions to the community. Anonymous 2:28, I didn't see anything abrasive or inappropriate in PooPoo's earlier posts (this time). And I agree with him, the list of what he's done seems way more accomplished than anything I've seen the Director of H St. Main St. accomplish.And if this new clean-up crew in blue, "Ready to Work", was hired by H St. Main St., aren't we entitled to know more about who they are? I mean most everyone in the community has bitched about the trash on H or “When are we going to get a BID?” and now these people have just appeared one day out of the blue (or from H St. Main St.) with no publicity whatsoever and we’re not suppose to ask questions about them? Who’s paying for these people – are we? Are they grant funded? Who’s supervising them? How long will this last? Is this a pilot program? This just seems like really big news for H St. and no one is asking questions and H St. Main St. has not even claimed or denied responsibility for this group that some are crediting them for. Don't get me wrong, I’m glad they’re out there, I just want to know more about them that’s all. Maybe Anwar is just being modest in all his H St. accomplishments and this is just one example of his modesty. If you've pulled off this H St. clean-up crew for us long term, I'll be the first to congratulate you!
Here's a suggestion for what it's worth:If you want to know what is going on with the H Street Main Street (HSMS) organization, why don't you inquire directly at the source? Better yet, why not volunteer your time to help the organization if you feel it is so poorly managed. The recently-appeared street cleaning crew is indeed via HSMS. How do I know? 1) I asked one of the workers on the crew and 2) I called Anwar directly. It is funded by H Street business owners. It started several years ago and failed because it was only the newly-opened bars and other establishments (the ones with no $ yet) that ponied up any ducats. More help is needed in getting the older businesses on board. I volunteered to help HSMS in any way that I can. Are you next?
I saw one of the "Ready to Work" guys this morning as I got coffee at SOVA. I also love Sidamo's sign and didn't Anwar have a hand in that?Why does anyone deserve information about Anwar? I'm asking that seriously. Is he an elected official? Does he work for the city? If not, why does he owe anyone an explanation?Is HSMS funded by the city? Ultimately I would think that the only people he's answerable to are the people or organizations that provide funding to HSMS.
I believe that as Executive Director of HSMS, Anwar's salary comes directly from the City...from the Deputy Mayor's office that oversees ReStore DC, the office that ultimately oversees all of the Main Street Programs.
Rob said, "The only people he's answerable to are the people or organizations that provide funding to HSMS." And do you know who that is? I'm just surprised that Anwar or any other H St Main St. affiliate didn't toot their own horn about this AMAZING new H St. service!! How many of us out there had to learn about this EXCITING new program that will improve H St. on a community blog? That just doesn't make sense. This, to me, falls into the "Too good to be true" category. I'm ecstatic about it and H St. is already looking better because of it. Anwar, if you did have anything to do with this, Thank You! Is this a permanent thing? Please, tell us more about this new program.Joe Englert and other Atlas District business owners, you must be THRILLED to learn about this new H St. Main St. service being provided! Will you now disband your own privately funded Atlas District BID in the interest of saving money?- Curious
Anon. 10:52, you bring up a very interesting point? I hope you can verify or someone out there can clarify? I thought the Director's postion was a volunteer position, but if H St. Main St. is tax-payer supported we are definately entitled to know what he is (or isn't) doing by running this program with our money!- Curious 10:58
It seems, then, that Anwar would answer to tax payers. that's who funds HSMS.Atlas District -- you guys have done a great job of picking up the slack where you can in lieu of HSMS's lack of follow through. You've provided transportation, privately funded a clean streets effort, and I hope you don't stop. Didn't HSMS try the clean streets thing in the past, and it failed?? If that happens this time, maybe the Atlas District folks would extend their project down the street. Theirs seems to be the one program that has any history of success. I don't mean to be negative on the HSMS front, it's just that their programs have had a less then stellar track record. Maybe this will work, though...
Yep, here's the DC.gov page for ReStore DC, which does in fact manage the main street program.http://www.restoredc.dc.gov/restoredc/cwp/view.asp?a=1407&q=572036
Anon. 11:05, My guess is that the Atlas District BID would love to extend their program up the rest of the corridor, but their's cost $$ and that was the problem. If I remember correctly, they couldn't get other business to cough up the necessarry money - including Anwar who owns a couple of business on H.Joe, I'm sure you will clarify if I am mistaken. And please, I'm curious about your thoughts about this new H St. Main St. service.
Thanks Anon. 11:08 for the link to DC.gov's ReStore DC. I encourage everyone to play around on that site, go into a couple of H St.Main St. links, and you'll see what you're getting for you tax dollars. Kind of sad actually - especially with all the H St. potential.-Anonymous
Joe Englert said: In no way are we going to disband our ATLAS St. BID. We will use the money we collect from members to do deeper cleaning of alley, pay bill and finally get some police on the street and do other positive things, including minimizing the affects of the upcoming streetscape upheaval. By the way, we are extremely paranoid that the funding for this clean and safe program will just evaporate sooner than later, leaving us a dirty four blocks again, leaving us with a big black eye.
Joe Englert said: Sorry, my "s" key was sticking. Sorry for the bad english!!!!
Sceptic said:Just as I suspected, Joe has about as much confidence in this H St. Main St. program surviving as many of the rest of us do. So little confidence that they're still willing to PAY for their own BID as opposed to utilizing this new H St Main St service. And by the way, Joe also said, "we are extremely paranoid that the funding for this clean and safe program will just evaporate sooner than later" - Does ANYONE know where the funding for this program is coming from? How can we demand that H St Main St (and its Director) be more accountable and transparent to the citizens that actually fund it?I'm glad this new program is out there, but how can we be sure it will last? And can some one explain what the difference is between this "Ready to Work" program and a traditional BID?
Well I humbly accept a bit of education from my fellow commenters. If HSMS is receiving funding from the city, then it ought to publish its mission, the activities it's undertaking to achieve its mission, metrics by which success would be measured, and I think it should make available its books...at least accounting for city money.My input to the "public discussion" is that unless there's some specific problem w/ HSMS's performance that people can point to, then my starting point is giving Anwar his due for getting the cleanup guys, doing the H St Festival, helping businesses w/ signs.
Rob, I don't think its HSMS's "performances" many of us have a problem with as its lack of performance.Anwar has not been an advocate for the traditional city/business model for a BID from the beginning, saying he couldn't get business buy-in because it would "raise their taxes" - this coming from the person who ALLEGEDLY already owes more than $8000 in back taxes. If this were the case, I too might be resistant to anything that may raise my taxes. I, on the otherhand, would happily see a slight increase in my taxes if it would get H St. cleaned up. Or better yet, take the tax money that we're spending on an H St. Main St. program and put it toward a permanent, legitimate clean-up initiative. Now we have this whole new program out there, "Ready to Work" for which there's little accountability because the public seems to know very little about it - or maybe its just me.Seems to be something shady about this whole HSMS operation, but no one wants to ask any of the hard questions.
Poo Poo- I'd like to get in touch with you regarding real estate in your immediate vacinity. What is an email address I can contact you at?-SG
There goes Joe.......bashing anything that isn't Joe EnglertLand. Joe, can you really be that incredulous about a clean up program? You continue to worry about your few places....HSMS will work with the entire H street corridor.
Joe Englert said: Wait a minute, I just invested tens of thousands of dollars of my own money to make the streets cleaner. I have invested millions of my own money renovating buildings and restaurants. These are real tangible projects funded with real money that my partners and I earned and then chose to risk. The new street cleaning is a reult of a temporary gift from some developers and government. With the current budget crisis and shortfalls we face, how could I possibly abandon all our work for government promises and unsubstantiated hope that could end in a week or a month? Though I am a bit player in the on-going mini-series "H--and a Streetcar Named Desire"----I do not trust or rely on the kindness of strangers. This is a still suspect city government and many of our city's institutions remain wobbly. I am not going to believe in most of the usual suspect until proven wrong. By the way, three years ago, I gave $8,000 for the clean and safe program. It was disbanded in three weeks and I never got a refund. Shame on me...........
Guys, I think it's terrific that HSMS has gotten this street cleaning effort underway. I know that it is HSMS because I was standing there talking to Anwar a couple of weeks back while he was talking about, and pointing to, the cleaners. HSMS largely subsists on grants. They typically have one paid employee [I don't know if Anwar holds that position right now], but everyone else is a volunteer. Anwar has volunteered a great deal of his time. I can't say if the tax info is accurate, but if it is, I'm betting nothing is stretching back for years, and that maybe he's just holding off, and will pay the fee. I do know that most, and I think all, of his H Street properties hold functioning businesses. I also can't blame Joe Englert for wanting to keep a good thing going. When you can control something and not have to deal with bureaucracy, or wait for grants, why would you give that up? Kudos to all who are helping keep H Street clean, because it certainly needs it.
I just ate at Subway. Had a BLT. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Inked said, "I can't say if the tax info is accurate, but if it is, I'm betting nothing is stretching back for years, and that maybe he's just holding off, and will pay the fee."And this is why I'm finding less and less credibility on this blog and have begun pulling myself away as a reader. Until Inked can realize that SOME of these community activist are nothing more then long time scam-artists and stops holding them up as "Community Heroes" that have done so much for this community and then in the very next breath say, "Well, he may have been a tad bit late on paying a few taxes probably last year but certainly not three or four years ago as may have been indicated by the incompetant people at the POST, but I feel sure he'll pay them as soon as he gets around to it or feels like because that's what he said at the bus stop the other day." What kind of law and logic is this that supports this man and any hint of his possibly not paying his taxes? I just don't get it.Remember guys, this is the same man that OPPOSES streetcars on H St. This guy is a joke and any support of this guy is a henderance to the improvement and advancement of the H St. community and this blog. - Not a Fan of Anwar (unlike this Blog)
^^^^ Then go create your own FREAKING blog!!!!!!!Or run for election...Or come up with ideas, better yet solutions, instead of just criticism- as thats most do on this blog.
Anon 955, If the Post indicated that Anwars owed back taxes for 3-4 years that might be different. I don't think that's what was alleged. I'm not holding anyone one up as a hero, I'm just saying of seen that particular handling of property taxes done before. I didn't take a support or condemn stance on Anwar here. But I do think there is some misunderstanding of HSMS, and sometimes people aren't sticking with the facts. I certainly don't support everything Anwar does, but if you are going to criticize him, it should be based on facts. If you want to assume that the Post is correct [a reasonable assumption] and criticize him for that it is fair. I'm just saying let's make sure we stick with facts and keep a sense of perspective.
"I didn't take a support or condemn stance on Anwar here." (Inked 8:41) .... "I can't say if the tax info is accurate, but if it is, I'm betting nothing is stretching back for years, and that maybe he's just holding off, and will pay the fee." (Inked 1:30).Sounds to me like support of someone who MAY be delinquent on their taxes. Are we willing to extend that same level of sympathy to others who are "holding off" on paying their taxes on time? Just looking for consistancy here.It seems that the one person that represents the day-to-day operation of our corridor improvement program (H St Main St) SHOULD be held to a higher accountability than the average Joe who "forgets to pay his taxes on time." Good god, this is the same man (with his opposition to streetcars) that represents the future of H St. Lord help us.Funny, even with some of the liberal newbies around here there's still a certain amount of tolerance (and excuses) for incompetence.- Jaded and hoping to move about 10 blocks south of H one day.
Jaded,I only meant there is a difference between paying a little late, and having years worth of back taxes and decrepit properties. If you really do have back taxes on properties in DC they sell your property. I'm just a little hesitant to rely on OTR records. My house and back lot are separate lots and I once received a final notice for the back lot. It turned out that OTR had misapplied my back lot payment to the other property. I don't think I'm being inconsistent. Yes, we should all pay our taxes on time, but the fact is I don't know the full story. Paying taxes at the last minute might not be the best example, but it doesn't hurt the community [because you must pay penalty fees when you pay late]. Let's keep that in mind. Paying your property taxes at the last possible minute is different than simply [or fraudulently] not paying income taxes. Let's not confuse the two.
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