I was unable to attend the news conference due to a scheduling conflict, but a resident and community member emailed me this synopsis of what happened:
On Thursday, September 17, 2009, at 12:15 p.m. a news conference was held in front of 2245 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, King Solomon Grand Lodge (KSGL). In attendance were Mayor Adrian Fenty, Chief of Police Cathy Lanier, D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, DCRA Director Linda Argo, as well as representatives from several print and electronic media outlets.
The purpose of the news conference was to announce the immediate closing of the King Solomon Grand Lodge for thirty days because of the increase in crime and the inordinate number of community complaints associated with its operations. In order to operate in the future, DCRA will require that KSGL submit a public hall application, follow the thirty days placarding rule and obtain community support for its business plan.
Chief Lanier personally expressed her concern that the peace and quiet of the community had been disrupted. The Chief agreed with me and others that Fifth District Commander Lamar Greene and his officers are doing a great job assisting the Woodridge Community with containing the disturbances at KSGL.
Director Argo personally assured that going forward KSGL will be required to follow all regulations that govern public hall establishments, to include the thirty days placarding requirement. Also, Director Argo stated that during the KSGL application process for a public hall license the community’s concerns will be heard.
Please note, if KSGL obtains a legal public hall license, it will have the ability to hold activities at the lodge seven days each week. As such the Woodridge Community will continue with its aggressive petition campaign to keep this establishment closed.
On behalf of the Woodridge Community we thank the Mayor and each Cabinet Executive who attended the conference for making a strong public statement of support for the community’s concerns.
Concern Citizens of the Woodridge Community