Dear Neighbors: I am sorry I have been so poky in bringing you the news.
But without designer, printer, and editor breathing down my backI cannot afford to
hire an editor for this prose, so now you can tell how well I really writeI leave my
work until after the last minute.
Cleveland Park Muggings
Unlike the usual hysteria about Northwest crime sprees, there is much
justification about the wave of muggings in Cleveland Park. Heres the latest
information from the Second District. A single suspect has committed nine muggings in
Cleveland Parkon the 2900 block of Ordway Street, NW, and the 3400 block of
Connecticut Avenue, NW. The latest mugging occurred on December 15. He has committed his
crimes in the late afternoon and early eveningbetween 2:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. No
oneas yethas been hurt.
The suspect is Edward Leo Bright, a five-foot, six-inch tall black male
weighing about 150 lbs. He dresses in a dark or plaid jacket and drives an orange 1971
Mercury Cougar with temporary tags. He generally seeks his victims in his car and then
approaches them with a steak knife. Bright is a Southwest Washington resident.
Uniformed officers are patrolling the area heavily. Until the suspect is
apprehended, the police caution residents to travel in pairs, make only necessary trips,
and not carry baggage while walking the streets. Questions about the muggings may be
directed to Detective Cesaro at 202.282.0043.
Please pass on this information to neighbors.
Readers of the Northwest Side Story may have noticed the lack of a
strongwell, lets say itthe absence of decent coverage of local schools.
I do not have school age children and the whole subject created a mental block.
Sanitation, transportation, the arenathese are funny subjects. But stinking
bathrooms for school kids? Thats painful.
I did receive the following request for information about D.C. schools:
You probably saw last weeks Washington Post story on the bathrooms
in D.C. schools. I wish this were the only problem with the schools here but it's not.
Schools lack so many things! It's not just insufficient computers, or art and music
classes, but the most basic things like sufficient paper and chalk. And books. We keep
hearing about school problems but never hear about anything being done about them. Are
there any successes out there? I have heard that Murch and Janney do a good job through
parents financial contributions. Is this true? If so would love to hear more about how to
get a public school to work. Or would like to hear what kinds of political pressure can be
brought so that things will improve. Thanks! A mom.
Political pressure? That was my out. I kicked the question over to
Councilmember Kathy Patterson, who not only serves on the Councils education committee but
has two children in the D.C. public school system. Here is Pattersons response.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to "A Mom"--they are
some of my favorite people. She asked how to improve D.C. schools -- the system and
individual schools. At the individual school level: get involved in the PTA/HSA and/or the
school's restructuring team. The latter is the site-based management committee each school
is supposed to have, made up of parents, teachers, principal, union rep, and community
reps, working toward greater neighborhood control of each school. Second, become involved
in Parents United for the D.C. Public Schools (they are in the phone book, or call my
office, 724-8062) to work on system-wide improvements.
And most immediately: come to or tune into a hearing before the D.C.
Council Committee on Education and Libraries, this Friday, December 15, at 10 a.m., in the
Council chamber (5th floor, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.) ostensibly on the D.C.P.S.
crisis of two weeks ago, the textbook shortage (not to be confused for the crisis last
week -- the bathrooms). [Its my fault I sent out this message too late. Blame the
messenger.] The idea for the oversight hearing was to try to hold someone or ones
accountable for such problems. We have been trying to get principals on the witness list,
specifically some of the principals quoted in the Post (and several months ago, in the
Washington Times) complaining about lack of textbooks. It is my belief that some of the
problem is central office; and some of the problem resides with individual principals and
this hearing should be an opportunity to gain some clarity on where accountability should
On the issue of the state of D.C.P.S. bathrooms, I had one question that
was left unanswered by the Post article, that relates to the issue of where accountability
resides: who is responsible for cleanliness? I know the system has a half-billion problem
with the need for physical repairs. So my question does not go to the issue of broken
pipes and missing doors. Those issues will be harder to resolve. It should be easier to
resolve the issue of cleanliness. It is, in fact, someone's job to keep the school plant
clean; it is someone else's job to supervise the individual(s) responsible for
cleanliness. Such issues reside with the principal who is in charge of the building. My
question: if a principal complains about cleanliness in his/her school's bathrooms, where
is that principal doing to hold his/her staff accountable? I hope we can get to this
specific question, too, at the Friday hearing.
Please send your response to Kathy Patterson at KpattDC3@aol.com and feel
free to copy the message to me.
Steal This Cookie
And now from the pages of Abbie Hoffmans "Steal this
Book"a Christmas commercial crassness story that empties your heart but fills
your tummy. Its true story, so I am told. [Editors note see the next
issue of DCStory before your believe this story.]
My daughter and I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in
Dallas and decided to have a small dessert. Because our family are such cookie lovers, we
decided to try the "Neiman-Marcus Cookie." It was so excellent that I asked if
they would give me the recipe. They said with a small frown, "I am afraid not."
Well, I said, would you let me buy the recipe? With a cute smile, she said,
"Yes." I asked how much, and she responded, "Two-fifty." I said with
approval, "Just add it to my bill." Thirty days later I received my VISA
statement from Neiman-Marcus for $285.00. I looked again and remembered I had spent only
$9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the bottom of the
statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe: $250.00."
Boy, was I upset! I called Neiman's accounting department and told them
that when the waitress said "two-fifty" for a cookie recipe, I did not realize
she meant $250.00. I asked them to take back the recipe and reduce my bill and they said
they were sorry, but because all the recipes were this expensive so not just everyone
could duplicate any of our bakery recipes. The bill would stand. I waited, thinking of how
I could get even or even try to get any of my money back.
"Okay, you folks got my $250.00 and now I am going to have $250.00
worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover will
have a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus for nothing. She replied, "I wish you
would not do this." And I said, "I am sorry but this is the only way I feel I
could get even."
So, here it is, and please pass it to someone else or run a few copies. I
paid for it. Now you can have it for free.
So, what, youre looking for a $250 recipe here from me. No way am I
going to tangle with Needless-Markup. If you want a $250 cookie recipe, you will have to
make your own inquiry at email@example.com.
Hey, Were Feisty
In yet another article that proves the media loves nothing better than
covering the media, the Washington Business Journal reported "Feisty Northwest Paper
Back In Business." The small article chronicles the papers sale to Sam Le Blanc
and notes that John Briley is taking over as editor. I just love the Journals use of
the adjective feisty. It sure beats the usual description of smart-assed. More later,
The Northwest Market
In search of plaintiffs for lawsuit challenging Prince George's County's
new juvenile curfew law. If you live or play or visit in Prince George's County and you
think a 10:00 p.m. curfew is an imposition on individual rights, call Art Spitzer at the
ACLU at 202-457-0800, or write to 1400 20th Street, NW, Washingotn, D.C. 20036. Or e-mail
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Help strike a blow for liberty! Internet Services. If you are in
the DC area and require top notch Internet access services or Website hosting and
production please call Internet Interstate at 301-652-4468 or email email@example.com
(www.intr.net). Events Near You December 24 at 10:00 a.m. Christmas eve worship service at
Washington International Church. People from 73 different nations have visited their
unique worship celebration. Church is using Fellowship Hall of St. Luke's United Methodist
Church located on corner of Wisconsin Ave. and Calvert St. NW, Washington, D.C. A pot-luck
luncheon will follow the service. For more information, call (202) 298-6110 or check out
the homepage on the web at http://www.netrail.net/~inchurch.
Jeffrey Itell Publisher dc.story Tel: 202.244.4163 P.O. Box 11260 Fax:
202.362.1501 Washington, D.C. 20008-0460 "For People Who Live Inside the Beltway...
But Outside the Loop."