Leaning toward a new Columbia Heights library?

If one is counting votes, and if we’re reading the signals right as to what those votes might be, Columbia Heights taxpayers, owners of one of only four independent libraries in the metropolitan area, could embark on finding the money to replace the current library. And a Northeast resident whose job is to be her firm’s government—and particularly, libraries—expert, has helped lay the groundwork.Cindy McCleary of Leo A. Daly, an architecture and engineering firm, has designed 23 libraries. She told the City Council April 8 that communication preferences are changing, but not replacing the book. “Historical material does not translate well…with the pace of change, there is a need to preserve history. The way libraries are being used is more people centric.”Mayor Gary Peterson, before telling the assembled group after a long presentation that the council would “take it under advisement,” agreeing to take the issue up again on May 13, said that he was among the people who said he thought books were a thing of the past, but then changed his thinking. Continue Reading

Columbia Heights is ripe for developers

It seems that Columbia Heights is looking good, lately, to some local developers. City officials recently heard a preliminary redevelopment proposal that could include a public library, city hall and senior housing at 40th and Central, and another developer plans to build single family houses at the Grand Central Lofts site, 49th and Central avenues.In addition, the city is working to shape its own future, with the Dec. 13 acquisition of the “Mady’s site,” a parcel on Central and 39th avenues NE that formerly housed Mady’s Bowling Lounge and a Salvation Army Thrift store.Mady’s siteScott Clark, Columbia Heights Community Development Director, said the city agreed to pay $905,000 for the Mady’s site. “That property has been identified by the city as a key development site in the city’s comprehensive plan for some time. It offers a good-sized parcel with depth to the property.”At one time a private dump, the land will need some cleanup. Continue Reading

From high school to the stars…and beyond

Whether you are an astronaut or an accountant, interpersonal skills are crucial to success. NASA has its mental health guidelines, and local schools try various approaches to fostering good mental health and interpersonal skills. Next fall, Columbia Heights High School is launching a ninth grade leadership academy. The course will teach writing skill development but also draw on material on emotional intelligence, Arthur Costa’s Habits of Mind and Sean Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. At a time when a school success is judged by math and reading scores, this required class is not focused on the traditional content areas. Continue Reading