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Happy New Year 2012 from Carlos Lumpuy

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  • carlos_lumpuy
    CARLOS LUMPUY Saturday 31 December 2011. Season s greetings neighbors on this New Year s Eve. Here s a funny NFL satire on TSA:
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 31, 2011
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      CARLOS  LUMPUY

      Saturday 31 December 2011.

      Season's greetings neighbors on this New Year's Eve.


      Here's a funny NFL satire on TSA:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxIxrYitndI

      Diana Krall singing, "What are you doing New Year's Eve":

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU_BBNeumLI

      The Carpenters as well:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtpXLsVYHGM

      Finally, Al Jolson with  "Auld Lang Syne":

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozgk5TVxtPw


      The best of health and all good wishes for the new year 2012.

      -Carlos.

      CARLOS  LUMPUY

       Since 1960 on Champlain Street


      11980 SW 41 Drive

      Miami, Florida  33175

      Telephone 305.226.1226


      2298 Champlain Street, NW

      Washington, D.C.  20009

      Telephone 202.265.9119

      E-mail:  clumpuy@


      The Erie

      2351 Champlain Street, NW

      Washington, D.C. 


      www.livingerie.com


      Whether professional or personal, all human relationships have at their core and as its basis, one singular and fundamental premise:

      Respect.

      Without it, there can be no relationship, and we fail not only our positions, our service, our labor, and ourselves, but those and all that surrounds us.

      -Carlos Lumpuy, Landlord, Miami, Washington, D.C.

      And so another year has passed for all of us, and yet another long year for our oldest neighbors here in Adams Morgan, the congregation of The First Church of Christ, Scientist at 1780 Columbia Road who year after year continue to be denied being able to develop their private property to benefit them, our neighborhood and our capital city by a local government muddled in politics and process.

      I share with you below my last statement from two months ago to our Advisory Neighborhood Commission in yet another of these seemingly endless meetings in a continued process of denial and protracted ineffectiveness by our local government towards us citizens and real property owners in the private sector, as well as my statement from last year:

      CARLOS  LUMPUY

      -

      Washington, Sunday 16 October 2011.
      Adams Morgan Advisory Commission-

      Autumn greetings.

      Back in 1987, the creation of the Reed-Cooke Overlay by the D.C. Zoning Commission in one fell swoop declared a vast area from Champlain to 16th Street and from Euclid to Florida Avenue to be residential R-5-B and no longer commercial C-M-2 and C-2-B commercially zoned.

      It was then a dramatic, devastating and economically painful undertaking for many of us commercial real property owners with commercially appraised and commercially mortgaged properties to suddenly have their properties devalued and zoned residential seemingly overnight.

      I survived.  Many did not.  I knew a print shop owner who saw his property value and his livelihood taken away by this overlay, and he became so distraught and so despondent that twenty one years ago he committed suicide on Champlain Street.

      And yes, still today, we have some, including elected officials, who still like to play games with the livelihoods of their own neighbors.

      Here in America we are governed by law and not by men as we were taught in our civic and social studies classes.

      Government exists to do only what citizens cannot do for themselves.

      This includes zoning, land use regulations, and height restrictions, particularly in our dense urban areas.

      Last year at the National Building Museum downtown, some of us Washingtonians celebrated the centennial milestone of the Heights of Buildings Act of 1910 which limits new construction within the District of Columbia to the width of the right of way of the street or avenue on which a building fronts.

      The advent of steel skeletal structures and riveted steel I-beams, as opposed to load-bearing masonry construction, allowed for the first time in the world the engineering and construction of skyscrapers which began in Chicago in the late 1890's.

      This reached us here in Washington with "Schneider's Folly" and The Cairo Apartments at 16th and Q Streets after which our city's three commissioners at the time acted quickly and effectively to prohibit any more high rises.   (Yet another example of how much better and effective our federal city government of three commissioners was than the continued protracted ineffective failures of our home rule.)

      Our City of Washington has always been low profile as it should be and distinctively so.  We are not Chicago, nor Manhattan, we are relatively small town with a modest skyline here.

      Variances to the height restriction include our churches like the National Cathedral and our National Shrine of Immaculate Conception.

      Along K Street you will not find an office building taller than 13 stories as it should be.   We should not have residential towers either.

      Height variances I believe should be granted only to Churches and Hotels for those visiting our capital city.

      Within proximity of us here are the Washington Hilton Towers, The Omni Shoreham and The Wardman Park Hotels with 800 to 1,200 rooms each, and all along Connecticut Avenue.

      This development of the 200 room Washington Edition Hotel on Columbia Road and Champlain Street will be a pivotal milestone in the history of 18th and Columbia Road or what today we call Adams Morgan.

      Not since the Bliss family built their apartment houses along Columbia Road, including The Cortland at 1760 Euclid across from the proposed hotel site, has this neighborhood had an investment, private or public, of this magnitude.

      We are fortunate to have these developers garner the impressive team of Bill Marriott, a Washingtonian and lifelong innkeeper, and successful New York boutique hotelier Ian Schrager who will lend their names, their good talent, modern art and exceptional modern design, management experience, and a very long list of international hotel clients to the development.

      When you're an innkeeper in the hospitality business, there is no fast buck to be made.   Without gaming and and casinos, it's all long term, high maintenance 24/7/365 from grand opening day.  A hotel never closes and any return on initial investment (if one is realized, the project could fail for a host of reasons) is so far out in years, in not decades.  Note that there are senior members of the Friedman family that are now seven years older than when this process began.

      And it's these developers who are taking on all the risk.  It is after all the risk takers in the private sector that make all of expanding economic life possible.  It is the private sector from which our prosperity comes.

      In this harsh economic climate as we enter 2012, we desperately need more private sector investors willing to put their private capital to work (read my attached article on this topic) and bring a whole new vibrant life to the this vacant site and the local economic churning that would ensue.

      This hotel should be allowed to rise high as the citadel of Adams Morgan, its anchor signature attraction, bringing even more diversity to our neighborhood, making it even more cosmopolitan with regular visitors from the world over here in our nation's capital.

      And for those old enough to remember,

      it may not bring back the urbane civility of days gone by when our streets and alleys were kept clean, clear, and orderly (with government doing what it should concentrate on), the days gone by of a movie premier at The Ontario Cinema, dinner at Avignon Freres, and some late night jazz at the Showboat Lounge;

      but I do feel that over time, this private hotel together with the publicly funded 18th Street Streetscape will be the two catalysts to turn the pendulum towards a more civilized and orderly direction for Adams Morgan, and just as importantly garner others so inclined, not with the divisiveness, negativity, and protracted ineffectiveness of the public sector seemingly always entrenched in the swamp of politics and process,

      but with others from within the industrious, productive, innovative and creative skills of the results oriented private sector with the sustaining essential risk taking and considerable private capital and privately applied resources that will with time will truly improve our public safety, our quality of life in the city, and our neighborhood one address at a time.

      Take a peek at the solid vibrant interiors of the new Mintwood Place below Perry's at 1811 Columbia Road for a look at the future of Adams Morgan in a few short years.

      The opportunity is here now.  Carpe Diem.

      We need to seize the day, it might not be here tomorrow.

      Sincerely,

      -Carlos.

      "We have tried spending money.  We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.  And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job.  I want to see this country prosperous.  I want to see people get a job.  I want to see people get enough to eat.  We have never made good on our promises ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... And an enormous debt to boot. "

      These words were spoken 72 years ago before the House Ways and Means Committee in May 1939 by Henry Morgenthau, Jr. - close friend, lunch companion, and loyal Secretary of the Treasury until 1945 to President Franklin D. Roosevelt - and the key architect of FDR's New Deal.

      http://www.burtfolsom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/Morgenthau.pdf

      Morgenthau made this then startling confession during the seventh year of his New Deal programs seeking to combat rampant high unemployment during the Great Depression.

      With these words, Morgenthau summarized the harsh suffering and protracted misery, the lost decade that was the 1930's.

      When FDR was elected President in 1932 unemployment was 23%.  When Morgenthau spoke these words seven years later, just before the start of World War II, unemployment was still 19%.

      Private sector investment remained volatile during the period of the 1930's, in part because of the uncertainty created for business by the radical and shifting policies of the Roosevelt New Deal.  Sound familiar ?

      Indeed with these words, Morgenthau confessed what so many keepers of Roosevelt's New Deal flame still won't admit today:

      massive public sector spending on public works programs doesn't erase historic unemployment.  It doesn't produce an economic recovery, it only postpones one.

      Three generations of Americans later, we just went through another $800 billion "stimulus" last year, this President now proposes yet another $450 billion for this year, and there are still some Democrats wanting an even bolder economic stimulus that depends on even more hundreds of billions in new deficit federal government spending to create jobs.

      This Administration's problem is not messaging, but gambling America's future on an economic policy that is not only false but a proven failure now as in the 1930's.

      When he agreed to let Congress blow out the deficit through the $800 billion stimulus package, he bet his entire presidency that Paul Krugman and the Democrat's Keynesian obsession would be right.

      John Maynard Keynes and Paul Krugman have been wrong all along because they think government can spend and spend and spend other people's money to prosperity.

      What needs most of all to be brought to the fore is the folly, the mendacity that public sector government spending can be equated to private sector spending. 

      Private capital and private resources applied with private risk taking and recourse within the private sector are altogether different from public sector government spending other people's money acquired through taxes extracted from a productive private sector.  Our prosperity comes from the private sector;  it provides for everything and everyone.

      This is the real world of personal risk taking, privately applied capital and productive resources, the real world struggle of just making a living in the results oriented private sector that does not allow for waste, inefficiencies, bloated bureaucracies, ineffective endeavors, deficit spending, insolvencies, and protracted development.

      If the majority of our economy is consumer spending, I'd feel a lot better if those on unemployment compensation, social security, and the now more than 46 million Americans on the SNAP food stamp program were all spending their own money.

      But they are not.  Consequently we cannot equate this spending with those consumers spending their own hard earned money that comes as a result of productive activity.

      Yet in this modern day accounting, it's all counted the same within the nation's GDP.  I contend this to be a false and detrimental economic evaluation, a perversion of economic reality, and a highly misleading statement of our well being.

      It is a road to certain ruin led by central planners with an unlimited highly intrusive federal government that all ends in a huge betrayal to the citizens they're supposed to protect resulting in a diminished common currency with the wells of Congress and the wells of state and municipal public chambers across this country filled with unpaid bills.

      A subsidy is defined as a grant or contribution of money granted by government to assist an industry or business or a sum of money granted to support an arts organization or other undertaking held to be in the public interest.  For example:  a farm subsidy or a grant to the Smithsonian.

      This is what we talk about when we talk about the perversion of language:

      There are no oil subsidies.  The federal government does not grant any money to oil and gas companies.  This is a farce that keeps getting repeated to the point that people start believing it.

      Like other manufacturers and businesses, oil and gas companies, in the normal accounting and reporting of income declared and expenses claimed, deduct the depreciation of capital employed in tools and equipment, and more importantly deduct the losses incurred in what more often than not turn out to be dry wells.

      If oil and gas companies are no longer allowed to claim these deductions and losses as proposed in Title IV of this year's $447 billion American Jobs Act stimulus program, it would alter the entire business model for the oil and gas industry that relies on very large sums of private capital and high risk taking.

      It doesn't take a lot of scratching to understand that most of the real work in this industry is done by smaller drillers that with their private investors deploy private risk capital and their private resources in what more often than not turn out to be dry wells.

      If these investors are not allowed to claim these losses, private capital in smaller oil and gas companies would dry up, and there would be a severe loss of good paying jobs in this industry.

      Only the large oil and gas companies like Exxon and BP with large resources could afford to take these huge risks and still remain viable concerns.

      This is a perfect example of short sighted misguided central planners taking and destroying viable and sustaining jobs from a productive industry within the results oriented private sector, to then give to another creation of the government's own making with temporary make work jobs that are neither sustaining nor viable.

      Well demonstrating this was the $535 million boondoggle of California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, part of last year's stimulus, a company which in less than a year is now bankrupt.  Why do they fail ?

      Because of non-recourse free spending, and because results oriented risk taking must remain in the private sector to ensure sustaining and viable employment within a growing economy and an expanding tax base that provides for everything including the public sector so that it too can do its vital work as well.

      So we have an American Jobs Act from an administration that sees federal government as unlimited, that continues to destroy good paying American jobs in the vital energy production of oil, gas, and coal, consequently we become more dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas, and ensure continued lower supplies and higher prices for retail end consumers that only serves to quell an economic recovery.

      The great real estate bust of 2007, this last housing bubble burst and the severe devaluation of real property we all continue to suffer through, is largely attributable to a strong central government (through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) taking on all the financial risk taking within what used to be the private sector home mortgage market.

      These are adults, some of them with Ivy League educations, here in Washington that govern us with their collectivist central planning economic theories and social engineering to create what they call green jobs to make them feel good and satisfy their environmentalist creed.

      A regressive collectivist creed of sloth and deceit where environmentalism and equality trumps all, including the future of American children that will have to pay the burden of carrying the horrendous and irresponsible fiscal legacy of a public debt that now exceeds our nation's gross domestic product.

      A creed that sees the federal government on a street corner handing out $1,000 every second and thinks the line will someday get shorter.

      The true debate over the role of the federal government in our lives was never about being small or big.  That's always been distraction and folly merely arguing about its size in a debate that can never be won just arguing about its size.

      Unlike this administration that continues to create a huge false sense of entitlement in our young people, Americans have always sought limited government with unlimited opportunity, fair play and the rule of law, as that argument is rooted in something greater than ourselves.

      It's a debate as old as the republic where the parameters of the federal government and its role in our lives are more easily and clearly defined and restrained.  Provide for a well armored military, coin of the realm, diplomacy, borders, etc.  -limited federal government.  This is nothing new.

      It was always as written long ago, limited government by charter as described by the father of our constitution James Madison in this gem from Federalist 45:

      "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite."

      The world may never again see the illustrious and distinguished gathering in Philadelphia of 56 noble God fearing men with such integrity and wisdom, but we can always read and learn from them.

      It is a creed.

      It's ours, uniquely ours.

      It is entirely American.

      In governance, it is our essence.

      Come this time next year, the debate of our lifetime will have been won well grounded in this premise and that we are not a democracy, we are a constitutional republic.

      All victory is fleeting.  The more conservative ascendency that begins in January 2013 must assert a new American Renaissance, we must simply define for ourselves and a watchful world just what it truly means to be an American.

      We are not citizens of the world.  We are Americans citizens, and we are indeed exceptional.  A true reading of American history proves this and what I write here to be true.  

      We are Americans.

      CARLOS  LUMPUY

      Washington, Sunday 19 December 2010.

      Season's greetings, neighbors.

      I have found that warming up some hot water and pouring it over these anti hotel posters pasted to the bases on what seems like all our neighborhood's street lampposts helps to soften up the paper and glue before trying to remove it.  I'm into six hours use on a pressure washer this weekend, three cans of these nifty anti graffiti spray cans, and five gallons of paint in my own personal graffiti abatement efforts here on Champlain Street.

      Same old, same old for me.  Petty and passing, but very time consuming -wasted time as well really, putting up, as well as now taking them down. So what's happened to all this opposition to the hotel tax abatement from the constituency ?

      You know what I'd like to see ?

      How about a twenty year abatement on some of this desecration of public and private property, and more importantly a twenty year abatement on some of the sub human public behavior and lawlessness we've had to tolerate around here for the last forty years ?  ;-)

      I've been going to these ANC meetings since they were first created.

      Back then we thought of it as a gathering of neighbors, with all of us relating on the same level, a neighborhood panel that according to charter advises local government with "great weight".  That's it.  ANC's advise.  Advisory Neighborhood Commissions can't legislate, prosecute, or adjudicate.

      Go to these long meetings these past ten years or so and you'd think they can do all three and more.  They seem to look down upon our neighborhood, cannot distinguish from a school, library or park property, streets, sidewalks and alleys (which is where local government's work should be concentrated) from privately held and privately sustained real property, and think they should somehow have collective dominion over all of it, our lives, and our livelihoods.

      And still further, now in December 2010, even govern private labor agreements; that they can negotiate collective bargaining agreements between private hotels, their private sector employees and their unions.  Who'd have thought we'd come to this ?  Who'd have thought the ANC was empowered to do so, much less educated and experienced in so many disciplines or qualified to even do so ?

      Back then, ANC's weren't into all this silly self empowerment and self aggrandizement.  Today, there seems to be no limit in their endeavors.

      I attended an Adams Morgan ANC meeting three or four years ago, where hours were devoted to changing the name of a privately held national football franchise.  They invited native American indians (who came) and the football team management, and the ANC was so insulted when nobody from the Washington Redskins showed up.  Honestly, what we have here in our nation's capital is government gone amok.

      Since home rule was created and we left the federal city system of three commissioners which worked well and for so very long (three gray haired men educated in public administration appointed with staggered terms by the U.S. President -George Washington appointed the first three commissioners represented by the three red stars on a field of white on our flag, the standard of Mount Vernon), I've seen so many elected officials at every level come and go since, far too many without the simple tenet of public service: representing their constituents with limited government by charter, government by law, not by men as we were taught in our civic and social studies classes,

      not elected officials serving themselves in the name of the many and with other people's money in the public till, that somehow their powers are limitless, not serving their their constituents as public servants, but pursuing their own lofty perceived collectivist and personal agenda with an haughty attitude of I know better than you my constituents what's good for you in their ultimate pursuit of a life by government ration for all of us.

      They serve a few years, they move on, and we the constituents remain with what's left after all their meddling, stirring things up, and all they've done to divide us as neighbors after being so highly intrusive in our lives, intruding worst of all into our long held personal relationships with one and other, as well as our own real property, and our own personal livelihoods.

      They remind me of the carpetbaggers of days gone by, that with a lot of talk would stir things up in the barns, leave us to clean up after them, and then move on to the next town.

      It's quite sad and lamentable, for those of us who remember, before their was home rule here in Washington, how life around here was not only urban, but urbane and civilized without all these elected officials dividing us one from another as neighbors and creating all this lawlessness and disorder created by them, not us.

      Limited to two minutes, I spoke Thursday night about how some of us remember in the 1960's and as late as the 1970's when hundreds and hundreds of parishioners would line around the corner of Euclid and Champlain Street to go Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings for services there at the Christ Scientist Church.  How much smaller, they now meet and worship in their reading room across the alley and have found a successor to preserve and use their church building.

      I, along with the handful of us who still get up early on Sunday mornings, tire of having to explain as I do to my only sister, Dolly and my nieces when they visit me here of the Saturday night mess of filth, pizza boxes and vomit we all have to walk over early on Sunday mornings here on Champlain Street on our Sunday morning walk over the Duke Ellington Bridge to Woodley Park.

      We may not in our lifetimes see again the urbane civility of the days when our streets, sidewalks and alleys were easily kept clean, clear and orderly (with limited local government doing what it should concentrate on) and the likes of Caesar Romero and Ida Lupino arriving for a premiere at the Ontario Theatre on Columbia Road, having dinner at Avignon Freres, and some late night Jazz at the Showboat Lounge on 18th Street, but this hotel will help us move the pendulum back into that more civilized and orderly direction, and more importantly garner others so inclined, not with the public sector with all its divisiveness, negativity and protracted ineffectiveness, but with others from within the productive, innovative and creative skills of the results oriented private sector with the essential risk taking and considerable private capital and privately applied resources that will truly improve our quality of life and our neighborhood one private address at a time.

      Only the short sighted can be against this hotel development or the tax abatement. We all know of the huge and immeasurable benefits of having an internationally known hospitality and entertainment pioneer set up shop at this location, by any metric what a tremendous catalyst of economic activity this development would bring to Adams Morgan, and would still further garner incrementally more private investment in the years to come bringing positive change one address at a time to this area.

      This hotel development will be a pivotal milestone in the history of our neighborhood, will be the anchor signature attraction, bringing even more diversity to our neighborhood, making it even more cosmopolitan with regular visitors from the world over here in our nation's capital, and help the pendulum swing in a different direction.

      Perhaps there's been a lesson here to many who are either unaware or forgetful as to two words that have become so vastly undervalued in modern day life, so lost in the minds of far too many, two words that tend to be alien to far too many in a federal city where subsistence relies on so many public sector salaries, two words that are so attributable to our prosperity as Americans in a country still free, two words that are so vital and essential to us all, particularly in the currently diminishing private sector world most of us still live in, and to any private development:

      -RISK TAKING-

      Marriott makes takes no risk and makes no real investment.  Neither does Ian Schrager.  They lend their names, their good talent, considerable and successful management experience, modern art and exceptional design, and a very long list of international hotel clients to the development.

      The impressive team of Bill Marriott, a Washingtonian and lifelong innkeeper, and successful New York hotelier Ian Schrager is rolling out their new international brand of high end boutique Edition Hotels. 

      (I don't know, nor am I interested in what it's like to stay in a $400 a night hotel. It doesn't concern or bother me at all, nor do I stay up nights worried silly that there just might be people actually enjoying themselves, not with money from the public till, but with their own money, people that can, do, and might be doing so right now in these hotels as I take time to write here to my neighbors as my fingers have thawed and I can now type better.)

      So far there's an Edition Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii and another in Istanbul, Turkey with others in development and on line for London, Barcelona, Bangkok, Mexico City and Miami Beach:

      http://www.editionhotels.com/en-us/#/en-us/hotels/waikiki

      It is interesting to note that the Church and the Friedman family were the first development to sign up with Edition Hotels.  The Washington Edition in our nation's capital could be in our neighborhood if the licensing agreement with Marriott doesn't expire and they set up shop at another Washington neighborhood. 

      Or if just maybe, we stopped being so adversarial, inhospitable and obstructionist ourselves all these many years, and instead worked positively, constructively and stopped continually giving such a hard time to the representatives of the Church and the Friedman family with their positive, productive and professional work after so many long years at this.

      After all, it is their RISK TAKING, their complex business development model, their investment capital within this $127 million project, approximately half theirs and half borrowed that makes this all possible ($17 for land acquisition $71 in hard construction and $39 in soft construction).

      The city real property tax abatement capped at $46 million ($2 to $3 million a year over 20 years) helps the project's pro forma to be more attractive and salient to the lenders and more importantly better ensures the long term success of the project for everyone involved.  Urban construction in 2010 is not expensive, it is very, very extremely expensive particularly with people living and working around your project 24/7. (All these figures are from reports with the office of the DC Chief Financial Officer.)

      When you're an innkeeper in the hospitality business, there is no fast buck to be made.  It's all long term.  From the hotel's grand opening day, it is all high maintenance for the long term 24/7/365 infinitum.  Any return on the initial capital investment (if one is realized, the project could fail for a host of reasons), it is so far out in years, if not decades.

      In this harsh economic environment as we enter 2011, when there are so many sitting on their private capital, we desperately need more private sector job creators willing to put their private capital to work and invest like these willing and able private investors to bring a whole new vibrant life to this vacant site, and to initiate, set into motion and generate the vast local economic churning that would ensue.

      A j

      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

    • Val Holmes
      Happy Hogmanay! Loved some of the versions of Auld Lang Syne! Made me homesick.......well, a bit.
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 1, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Happy Hogmanay! 
        Loved some of the versions of Auld Lang Syne! 
        Made me homesick.......well, a bit.


         
        On Sat, Dec 31, 2011 at 4:43 PM, carlos_lumpuy <clumpuy@...> wrote:
         

        CARLOS  LUMPUY

        Saturday 31 December 2011.

        Season's greetings neighbors on this New Year's Eve.


        Here's a funny NFL satire on TSA:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxIxrYitndI

        Diana Krall singing, "What are you doing New Year's Eve":

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU_BBNeumLI

        The Carpenters as well:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtpXLsVYHGM

        Finally, Al Jolson with  "Auld Lang Syne":

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozgk5TVxtPw


        The best of health and all good wishes for the new year 2012.

        -Carlos.

        CARLOS  LUMPUY

         Since 1960 on Champlain Street


        11980 SW 41 Drive

        Miami, Florida  33175

        Telephone 305.226.1226


        2298 Champlain Street, NW

        Washington, D.C.  20009

        Telephone 202.265.9119

        E-mail:  clumpuy@


        The Erie

        2351 Champlain Street, NW

        Washington, D.C. 


        www.livingerie.com


        Whether professional or personal, all human relationships have at their core and as its basis, one singular and fundamental premise:

        Respect.

        Without it, there can be no relationship, and we fail not only our positions, our service, our labor, and ourselves, but those and all that surrounds us.

        -Carlos Lumpuy, Landlord, Miami, Washington, D.C.

        And so another year has passed for all of us, and yet another long year for our oldest neighbors here in Adams Morgan, the congregation of The First Church of Christ, Scientist at 1780 Columbia Road who year after year continue to be denied being able to develop their private property to benefit them, our neighborhood and our capital city by a local government muddled in politics and process.

        I share with you below my last statement from two months ago to our Advisory Neighborhood Commission in yet another of these seemingly endless meetings in a continued process of denial and protracted ineffectiveness by our local government towards us citizens and real property owners in the private sector, as well as my statement from last year:

        CARLOS  LUMPUY

        -

        Washington, Sunday 16 October 2011.
        Adams Morgan Advisory Commission-

        Autumn greetings.

        Back in 1987, the creation of the Reed-Cooke Overlay by the D.C. Zoning Commission in one fell swoop declared a vast area from Champlain to 16th Street and from Euclid to Florida Avenue to be residential R-5-B and no longer commercial C-M-2 and C-2-B commercially zoned.

        It was then a dramatic, devastating and economically painful undertaking for many of us commercial real property owners with commercially appraised and commercially mortgaged properties to suddenly have their properties devalued and zoned residential seemingly overnight.

        I survived.  Many did not.  I knew a print shop owner who saw his property value and his livelihood taken away by this overlay, and he became so distraught and so despondent that twenty one years ago he committed suicide on Champlain Street.

        And yes, still today, we have some, including elected officials, who still like to play games with the livelihoods of their own neighbors.

        Here in America we are governed by law and not by men as we were taught in our civic and social studies classes.

        Government exists to do only what citizens cannot do for themselves.

        This includes zoning, land use regulations, and height restrictions, particularly in our dense urban areas.

        Last year at the National Building Museum downtown, some of us Washingtonians celebrated the centennial milestone of the Heights of Buildings Act of 1910 which limits new construction within the District of Columbia to the width of the right of way of the street or avenue on which a building fronts.

        The advent of steel skeletal structures and riveted steel I-beams, as opposed to load-bearing masonry construction, allowed for the first time in the world the engineering and construction of skyscrapers which began in Chicago in the late 1890's.

        This reached us here in Washington with "Schneider's Folly" and The Cairo Apartments at 16th and Q Streets after which our city's three commissioners at the time acted quickly and effectively to prohibit any more high rises.   (Yet another example of how much better and effective our federal city government of three commissioners was than the continued protracted ineffective failures of our home rule.)

        Our City of Washington has always been low profile as it should be and distinctively so.  We are not Chicago, nor Manhattan, we are relatively small town with a modest skyline here.

        Variances to the height restriction include our churches like the National Cathedral and our National Shrine of Immaculate Conception.

        Along K Street you will not find an office building taller than 13 stories as it should be.   We should not have residential towers either.

        Height variances I believe should be granted only to Churches and Hotels for those visiting our capital city.

        Within proximity of us here are the Washington Hilton Towers, The Omni Shoreham and The Wardman Park Hotels with 800 to 1,200 rooms each, and all along Connecticut Avenue.

        This development of the 200 room Washington Edition Hotel on Columbia Road and Champlain Street will be a pivotal milestone in the history of 18th and Columbia Road or what today we call Adams Morgan.

        Not since the Bliss family built their apartment houses along Columbia Road, including The Cortland at 1760 Euclid across from the proposed hotel site, has this neighborhood had an investment, private or public, of this magnitude.

        We are fortunate to have these developers garner the impressive team of Bill Marriott, a Washingtonian and lifelong innkeeper, and successful New York boutique hotelier Ian Schrager who will lend their names, their good talent, modern art and exceptional modern design, management experience, and a very long list of international hotel clients to the development.

        When you're an innkeeper in the hospitality business, there is no fast buck to be made.   Without gaming and and casinos, it's all long term, high maintenance 24/7/365 from grand opening day.  A hotel never closes and any return on initial investment (if one is realized, the project could fail for a host of reasons) is so far out in years, in not decades.  Note that there are senior members of the Friedman family that are now seven years older than when this process began.

        And it's these developers who are taking on all the risk.  It is after all the risk takers in the private sector that make all of expanding economic life possible.  It is the private sector from which our prosperity comes.

        In this harsh economic climate as we enter 2012, we desperately need more private sector investors willing to put their private capital to work (read my attached article on this topic) and bring a whole new vibrant life to the this vacant site and the local economic churning that would ensue.

        This hotel should be allowed to rise high as the citadel of Adams Morgan, its anchor signature attraction, bringing even more diversity to our neighborhood, making it even more cosmopolitan with regular visitors from the world over here in our nation's capital.

        And for those old enough to remember,

        it may not bring back the urbane civility of days gone by when our streets and alleys were kept clean, clear, and orderly (with government doing what it should concentrate on), the days gone by of a movie premier at The Ontario Cinema, dinner at Avignon Freres, and some late night jazz at the Showboat Lounge;

        but I do feel that over time, this private hotel together with the publicly funded 18th Street Streetscape will be the two catalysts to turn the pendulum towards a more civilized and orderly direction for Adams Morgan, and just as importantly garner others so inclined, not with the divisiveness, negativity, and protracted ineffectiveness of the public sector seemingly always entrenched in the swamp of politics and process,

        but with others from within the industrious, productive, innovative and creative skills of the results oriented private sector with the sustaining essential risk taking and considerable private capital and privately applied resources that will with time will truly improve our public safety, our quality of life in the city, and our neighborhood one address at a time.

        Take a peek at the solid vibrant interiors of the new Mintwood Place below Perry's at 1811 Columbia Road for a look at the future of Adams Morgan in a few short years.

        The opportunity is here now.  Carpe Diem.

        We need to seize the day, it might not be here tomorrow.

        Sincerely,

        -Carlos.

        "We have tried spending money.  We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.  And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job.  I want to see this country prosperous.  I want to see people get a job.  I want to see people get enough to eat.  We have never made good on our promises ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... And an enormous debt to boot. "

        These words were spoken 72 years ago before the House Ways and Means Committee in May 1939 by Henry Morgenthau, Jr. - close friend, lunch companion, and loyal Secretary of the Treasury until 1945 to President Franklin D. Roosevelt - and the key architect of FDR's New Deal.


        Morgenthau made this then startling confession during the seventh year of his New Deal programs seeking to combat rampant high unemployment during the Great Depression.

        With these words, Morgenthau summarized the harsh suffering and protracted misery, the lost decade that was the 1930's.

        When FDR was elected President in 1932 unemployment was 23%.  When Morgenthau spoke these words seven years later, just before the start of World War II, unemployment was still 19%.

        Private sector investment remained volatile during the period of the 1930's, in part because of the uncertainty created for business by the radical and shifting policies of the Roosevelt New Deal.  Sound familiar ?

        Indeed with these words, Morgenthau confessed what so many keepers of Roosevelt's New Deal flame still won't admit today:

        massive public sector spending on public works programs doesn't erase historic unemployment.  It doesn't produce an economic recovery, it only postpones one.

        Three generations of Americans later, we just went through another $800 billion "stimulus" last year, this President now proposes yet another $450 billion for this year, and there are still some Democrats wanting an even bolder economic stimulus that depends on even more hundreds of billions in new deficit federal government spending to create jobs.

        This Administration's problem is not messaging, but gambling America's future on an economic policy that is not only false but a proven failure now as in the 1930's.

        When he agreed to let Congress blow out the deficit through the $800 billion stimulus package, he bet his entire presidency that Paul Krugman and the Democrat's Keynesian obsession would be right.

        John Maynard Keynes and Paul Krugman have been wrong all along because they think government can spend and spend and spend other people's money to prosperity.

        What needs most of all to be brought to the fore is the folly, the mendacity that public sector government spending can be equated to private sector spending. 

        Private capital and private resources applied with private risk taking and recourse within the private sector are altogether different from public sector government spending other people's money acquired through taxes extracted from a productive private sector.  Our prosperity comes from the private sector;  it provides for everything and everyone.

        This is the real world of personal risk taking, privately applied capital and productive resources, the real world struggle of just making a living in the results oriented private sector that does not allow for waste, inefficiencies, bloated bureaucracies, ineffective endeavors, deficit spending, insolvencies, and protracted development.

        If the majority of our economy is consumer spending, I'd feel a lot better if those on unemployment compensation, social security, and the now more than 46 million Americans on the SNAP food stamp program were all spending their own money.

        But they are not.  Consequently we cannot equate this spending with those consumers spending their own hard earned money that comes as a result of productive activity.

        Yet in this modern day accounting, it's all counted the same within the nation's GDP.  I contend this to be a false and detrimental economic evaluation, a perversion of economic reality, and a highly misleading statement of our well being.

        It is a road to certain ruin led by central planners with an unlimited highly intrusive federal government that all ends in a huge betrayal to the citizens they're supposed to protect resulting in a diminished common currency with the wells of Congress and the wells of state and municipal public chambers across this country filled with unpaid bills.

        A subsidy is defined as a grant or contribution of money granted by government to assist an industry or business or a sum of money granted to support an arts organization or other undertaking held to be in the public interest.  For example:  a farm subsidy or a grant to the Smithsonian.

        This is what we talk about when we talk about the perversion of language:

        There are no oil subsidies.  The federal government does not grant any money to oil and gas companies.  This is a farce that keeps getting repeated to the point that people start believing it.

        Like other manufacturers and businesses, oil and gas companies, in the normal accounting and reporting of income declared and expenses claimed, deduct the depreciation of capital employed in tools and equipment, and more importantly deduct the losses incurred in what more often than not turn out to be dry wells.

        If oil and gas companies are no longer allowed to claim these deductions and losses as proposed in Title IV of this year's $447 billion American Jobs Act stimulus program, it would alter the entire business model for the oil and gas industry that relies on very large sums of private capital and high risk taking.

        It doesn't take a lot of scratching to understand that most of the real work in this industry is done by smaller drillers that with their private investors deploy private risk capital and their private resources in what more often than not turn out to be dry wells.

        If these investors are not allowed to claim these losses, private capital in smaller oil and gas companies would dry up, and there would be a severe loss of good paying jobs in this industry.

        Only the large oil and gas companies like Exxon and BP with large resources could afford to take these huge risks and still remain viable concerns.

        This is a perfect example of short sighted misguided central planners taking and destroying viable and sustaining jobs from a productive industry within the results oriented private sector, to then give to another creation of the government's own making with temporary make work jobs that are neither sustaining nor viable.

        Well demonstrating this was the $535 million boondoggle of California solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, part of last year's stimulus, a company which in less than a year is now bankrupt.  Why do they fail ?

        Because of non-recourse free spending, and because results oriented risk taking must remain in the private sector to ensure sustaining and viable employment within a growing economy and an expanding tax base that provides for everything including the public sector so that it too can do its vital work as well.

        So we have an American Jobs Act from an administration that sees federal government as unlimited, that continues to destroy good paying American jobs in the vital energy production of oil, gas, and coal, consequently we become more dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas, and ensure continued lower supplies and higher prices for retail end consumers that only serves to quell an economic recovery.

        The great real estate bust of 2007, this last housing bubble burst and the severe devaluation of real property we all continue to suffer through, is largely attributable to a strong central government (through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) taking on all the financial risk taking within what used to be the private sector home mortgage market.

        These are adults, some of them with Ivy League educations, here in Washington that govern us with their collectivist central planning economic theories and social engineering to create what they call green jobs to make them feel good and satisfy their environmentalist creed.

        A regressive collectivist creed of sloth and deceit where environmentalism and equality trumps all, including the future of American children that will have to pay the burden of carrying the horrendous and irresponsible fiscal legacy of a public debt that now exceeds our nation's gross domestic product.

        A creed that sees the federal government on a street corner handing out $1,000 every second and thinks the line will someday get shorter.

        The true debate over the role of the federal government in our lives was never about being small or big.  That's always been distraction and folly merely arguing about its size in a debate that can never be won just arguing about its size.

        Unlike this administration that continues to create a huge false sense of entitlement in our young people, Americans have always sought limited government with unlimited opportunity, fair play and the rule of law, as that argument is rooted in something greater than ourselves.

        It's a debate as old as the republic where the parameters of the federal government and its role in our lives are more easily and clearly defined and restrained.  Provide for a well armored military, coin of the realm, diplomacy, borders, etc.  -limited federal government.  This is nothing new.

        It was always as written long ago, limited government by charter as described by the father of our constitution James Madison in this gem from Federalist 45:

        "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite."

        The world may never again see the illustrious and distinguished gathering in Philadelphia of 56 noble God fearing men with such integrity and wisdom, but we can always read and learn from them.

        It is a creed.

        It's ours, uniquely ours.

        It is entirely American.

        In governance, it is our essence.

        Come this time next year, the debate of our lifetime will have been won well grounded in this premise and that we are not a democracy, we are a constitutional republic.

        All victory is fleeting.  The more conservative ascendency that begins in January 2013 must assert a new American Renaissance, we must simply define for ourselves and a watchful world just what it truly means to be an American.

        We are not citizens of the world.  We are Americans citizens, and we are indeed exceptional.  A true reading of American history proves this and what I write here to be true.  

        We are Americans.

        CARLOS  LUMPUY

        Washington, Sunday 19 December 2010.

        Season's greetings, neighbors.

        I have found that warming up some hot water and pouring it over these anti hotel posters pasted to the bases on what seems like all our neighborhood's street lampposts helps to soften up the paper and glue before trying to remove it.  I'm into six hours use on a pressure washer this weekend, three cans of these nifty anti graffiti spray cans, and five gallons of paint in my own personal graffiti abatement efforts here on Champlain Street.

        Same old, same old for me.  Petty and passing, but very time consuming -wasted time as well really, putting up, as well as now taking them down. So what's happened to all this opposition to the hotel tax abatement from the constituency ?

        You know what I'd like to see ?

        How about a twenty year abatement on some of this desecration of public and private property, and more importantly a twenty year abatement on some of the sub human public behavior and lawlessness we've had to tolerate around here for the last forty years ?  ;-)

        I've been going to these ANC meetings since they were first created.

        Back then we thought of it as a gathering of neighbors, with all of us relating on the same level, a neighborhood panel that according to charter advises local government with "great weight".  That's it.  ANC's advise.  Advisory Neighborhood Commissions can't legislate, prosecute, or adjudicate.

        Go to these long meetings these past ten years or so and you'd think they can do all three and more.  They seem to look down upon our neighborhood, cannot distinguish from a school, library or park property, streets, sidewalks and alleys (which is where local government's work should be concentrated) from privately held and privately sustained real property, and think they should somehow have collective dominion over all of it, our lives, and our livelihoods.

        And still further, now in December 2010, even govern private labor agreements; that they can negotiate collective bargaining agreements between private hotels, their private sector employees and their unions.  Who'd have thought we'd come to this ?  Who'd have thought the ANC was empowered to do so, much less educated and experienced in so many disciplines or qualified to even do so ?

        Back then, ANC's weren't into all this silly self empowerment and self aggrandizement.  Today, there seems to be no limit in their endeavors.

        I attended an Adams Morgan ANC meeting three or four years ago, where hours were devoted to changing the name of a privately held national football franchise.  They invited native American indians (who came) and the football team management, and the ANC was so insulted when nobody from the Washington Redskins showed up.  Honestly, what we have here in our nation's capital is government gone amok.

        Since home rule was created and we left the federal city system of three commissioners which worked well and for so very long (three gray haired men educated in public administration appointed with staggered terms by the U.S. President -George Washington appointed the first three commissioners represented by the three red stars on a field of white on our flag, the standard of Mount Vernon), I've seen so many elected officials at every level come and go since, far too many without the simple tenet of public service: representing their constituents with limited government by charter, government by law, not by men as we were taught in our civic and social studies classes,

        not elected officials serving themselves in the name of the many and with other people's money in the public till, that somehow their powers are limitless, not serving their their constituents as public servants, but pursuing their own lofty perceived collectivist and personal agenda with an haughty attitude of I know better than you my constituents what's good for you in their ultimate pursuit of a life by government ration for all of us.

        They serve a few years, they move on, and we the constituents remain with what's left after all their meddling, stirring things up, and all they've done to divide us as neighbors after being so highly intrusive in our lives, intruding worst of all into our long held personal relationships with one and other, as well as our own real property, and our own personal livelihoods.

        They remind me of the carpetbaggers of days gone by, that with a lot of talk would stir things up in the barns, leave us to clean up after them, and then move on to the next town.

        It's quite sad and lamentable, for those of us who remember, before their was home rule here in Washington, how life around here was not only urban, but urbane and civilized without all these elected officials dividing us one from another as neighbors and creating all this lawlessness and disorder created by them, not us.

        Limited to two minutes, I spoke Thursday night about how some of us remember in the 1960's and as late as the 1970's when hundreds and hundreds of parishioners would line around the corner of Euclid and Champlain Street to go Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings for services there at the Christ Scientist Church.  How much smaller, they now meet and worship in their reading room across the alley and have found a successor to preserve and use their church building.

        I, along with the handful of us who still get up early on Sunday mornings, tire of having to explain as I do to my only sister, Dolly and my nieces when they visit me here of the Saturday night mess of filth, pizza boxes and vomit we all have to walk over early on Sunday mornings here on Champlain Street on our Sunday morning walk over the Duke Ellington Bridge to Woodley Park.

        We may not in our lifetimes see again the urbane civility of the days when our streets, sidewalks and alleys were easily kept clean, clear and orderly (with limited local government doing what it should concentrate on) and the likes of Caesar Romero and Ida Lupino arriving for a premiere at the Ontario Theatre on Columbia Road, having dinner at Avignon Freres, and some late night Jazz at the Showboat Lounge on 18th Street, but this hotel will help us move the pendulum back into that more civilized and orderly direction, and more importantly garner others so inclined, not with the public sector with all its divisiveness, negativity and protracted ineffectiveness, but with others from within the productive, innovative and creative skills of the results oriented private sector with the essential risk taking and considerable private capital and privately applied resources that will truly improve our quality of life and our neighborhood one private address at a time.

        Only the short sighted can be against this hotel development or the tax abatement. We all know of the huge and immeasurable benefits of having an internationally known hospitality and entertainment pioneer set up shop at this location, by any metric what a tremendous catalyst of economic activity this development would bring to Adams Morgan, and would still further garner incrementally more private investment in the years to come bringing positive change one address at a time to this area.

        This hotel development will be a pivotal milestone in the history of our neighborhood, will be the anchor signature attraction, bringing even more diversity to our neighborhood, making it even more cosmopolitan with regular visitors from the world over here in our nation's capital, and help the pendulum swing in a different direction.

        Perhaps there's been a lesson here to many who are either unaware or forgetful as to two words that have become so vastly undervalued in modern day life, so lost in the minds of far too many, two words that tend to be alien to far too many in a federal city where subsistence relies on so many public sector salaries, two words that are so attributable to our prosperity as Americans in a country still free, two words that are so vital and essential to us all, particularly in the currently diminishing private sector world most of us still live in, and to any private development:

        -RISK TAKING-

        Marriott makes takes no risk and makes no real investment.  Neither does Ian Schrager.  They lend their names, their good talent, considerable and successful management experience, modern art and exceptional design, and a very long list of international hotel clients to the development.

        The impressive team of Bill Marriott, a Washingtonian and lifelong innkeeper, and successful New York hotelier Ian Schrager is rolling out their new international brand of high end boutique Edition Hotels. 

        (I don't know, nor am I interested in what it's like to stay in a $400 a night hotel. It doesn't concern or bother me at all, nor do I stay up nights worried silly that there just might be people actually enjoying themselves, not with money from the public till, but with their own money, people that can, do, and might be doing so right now in these hotels as I take time to write here to my neighbors as my fingers have thawed and I can now type better.)

        So far there's an Edition Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii and another in Istanbul, Turkey with others in development and on line for London, Barcelona, Bangkok, Mexico City and Miami Beach:

        http://www.editionhotels.com/en-us/#/en-us/hotels/waikiki

        It is interesting to note that the Church and the Friedman family were the first development to sign up with Edition Hotels.  The Washington Edition in our nation's capital could be in our neighborhood if the licensing agreement with Marriott doesn't expire and they set up shop at another Washington neighborhood. 

        Or if just maybe, we stopped being so adversarial, inhospitable and obstructionist ourselves all these many years, and instead worked positively, constructively and stopped continually giving such a hard time to the representatives of the Church and the Friedman family with their positive, productive and professional work after so many long years at this.

        After all, it is their RISK TAKING, their complex business development model, their investment capital within this $127 million project, approximately half theirs and half borrowed that makes this all possible ($17 for land acquisition $71 in hard construction and $39 in soft construction).

        The city real property tax abatement capped at $46 million ($2 to $3 million a year over 20 years) helps the project's pro forma to be more attractive and salient to the lenders and more importantly better ensures the long term success of the project for everyone involved.  Urban construction in 2010 is not expensive, it is very, very extremely expensive particularly with people living and working around your project 24/7. (All these figures are from reports with the office of the DC Chief Financial Officer.)

        When you're an innkeeper in the hospitality business, there is no fast buck to be made.  It's all long term.  From the hotel's grand opening day, it is all high maintenance for the long term 24/7/365 infinitum.  Any return on the initial capital investment (if one is realized, the project could fail for a host of reasons), it is so far out in years, if not decades.

        In this harsh economic environment as we enter 2011, when there are so many sitting on their private capital, we desperately need more private sector job creators willing to put their private capital to work and invest like these willing and able private investors to bring a whole new vibrant life to this vacant site, and to initiate, set into motion and generate the vast local economic churning that would ensue.

        A janitorial custodian and a small time landlord all my adult life, (a slow student, I shined shoes on Columbia Road from the age of 9 and from that bought my first Champlain Street row house at age 14), I know very well how our less educated, lower skill work is looked down upon by some.  All labor, all work and all jobs are good and noble, including hotel jobs, not just green jobs.

        As we enter 2011, we need desperately to expand the private sector if we are ever to get out of this hard, deep recession.  It is the private sector from which our prosperity comes.  It is the private sector that initiates, innovates, creates and provides for everything and everyone, including the public sector.  If history has taught us anything, from the Mayflower venture to the homesteaders hard quest west in covered wagons to the present day, our great country was built much more by risk takers in the private sector than comfortably seated public sector panels.

        Bill Marriott's father never had to go ask for real estate tax abatements.  Today, hotel developers come with hat in hand asking for a tax abatement simply because government has become so big, so highly intrusive in our private business, private transactions, and into our private lives.  

        With a 14% tax on room rates, food and beverage taxes, valet parking taxes, and a slew of other taxes (and probably still others not yet devised) it's estimated that annual revenues to the city will be $5 to $7 million from this hotel.  All this new life and economic activity from two vacant church properties that generate no revenue for anyone and the 2390 Champlain (Washington City Paper) parcel that currently pays $91,508 in real property taxes a year to the city government or $1.8 million over 20 years.

        The most accomplished and successful hotel developer of the last thirty years, Steve Wynn of Nevada was interviewed once and he explained of just how much of every daily room rate charge (more than the tax burden) has to be apportioned for and devoted just to going in and refurbishing the interiors of these hotel rooms every five years as deferred maintenance.  (Las Vegas gambling makes this easier of course.) 

        I

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