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January 25, 1996

Frontier Justice

Dear Neighbors:

I've got a story running in tomorrow's Washington City Paper about my experiences collecting dollars from some Northwest Side Story clients. Actually, the ones who didn't pay made the best stories. Jeffrey Itell

You may have read in the Post this week that there have been acts of retaliation against AU - Arson, broken windows, etc. One gal who works at AU complained that she returned to her car and found the right rear tire nearly flat and a note on the windshield that read "You have blocked my driveway and you now have a flat tire". I am the Frontier Justice enforcer for people who park in front of my driveway and block my exit to Mass. Ave. or entrance to the garage under my home. I generally leave enough air in the tire to get the perps to the Exxon Station at 49th and Mass. ave where they must change the tire (or just fill it if they are smart enough). Over the past eight years some 30 to 40 people have decided to be most inconsiderate about parking in my driveway. In each and every one of these instances I have called the D.C. police non-emergency line to give them the plate number and description of the car. They have come by a total of three times and once even issued a ticket. If I must go somewhere and cannot do so I cannot rely on the D.C. police to ticket the offendors. Therefore, I put on my badge and invoke a modest form of Frontier Justice.

It is interesting to note that only one of the offending parkers has been a non-Marylander. I think they should check the water in Maryland. It appears to be effecting peoples eyesight. My driveway, the cut curb, and the garage doors clearly define a place where no one should park.

With regard to my choice of victims, they are totally anonymous and I have absolutely no ax to grind with AU visitors, students, faculty, or staff. I have been supportive of AU in their efforts to locate the Law School there and have spoken in favor of it at the ANC meeting early in their announcement period almost two years ago. The message from me is clear. If you park in my driveway and I have some place to go, You will pay for the privilege.

Ed Barron

If all the traffic at Clyde's pushed Hamburger Hamlet and The American Cafe out of business, then the two restaurant's owners were psychic. Both closed either just before or immediately after Clyde's opened, too soon after for the redirected restaurant traffic to make a difference. Clyde's is, of course, in Maryland, whereas both the AmCaf and the Hamlet were in the District. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Stephanie Faul

Haven't tried Clyde's chile, but am not impressed as a result of two visits at lunch. Uninspired is probably the kindest impression ..... barbecued pork sandwich left me longing for the return of Arbaugh's, and the caesar salad was even more of a disaster. Three strikes and out will depend on whenever I get enough nerve to challenge the dinner chef (?). The Hamlet wasn't the greatest, but at least the burgers were pretty consistent.

JK Ross

Concerning the restaurant closings, I read in the Post that the Hamburger Hamlet's troubles were chain-wide, not due to Clyde's -- although the latter might have impacted HH's profitability enough to blow them out of Friendship Heights. Do you have more news about Peking Cafe? I was quite surprised to see them gutted yesterday.

Back to panhandlers... I can sympathize (and try to empathize) with Stephanie Faul's comments about gender differences. No question that I can walk alone in places where she can't because the range of attacks I'm risking are somewhat smaller. At the same time, I can't believe that "hey, cupcake" and "got a quarter?" hit the same areas of the psyche. And I'm also willing to say that there's more than a semantic difference between a neanderthal mating call and a laying-on off hands. My girlfriend was accosted the other day at Union Station by someone who felt it was alright to grab her behind -- her response was a loud "get the f*** away from me!" which drew enough attention that the guy backed off. *That's* unpleasant... I doubt that "hey, nice ass" quite falls in the same category.

It's certainly true that civility is not what it was in our grandparents' day, but then again, there's just a lot more people around. We may very well be dealing with the psychic effects of overpopulation. A thick skin is a necessary defense, and the more cracks in your armor you develop, the less of a civil, open-minded individual you will become.

Jeff Porten

I, too, think that people's views on the quaintness of panhandlers is gender-based. While they do have a constitutional right of free speech, there are other ways to support them besides giving them money. One could donate goods such as clothes or shoes, time to shelters or a one time payment to a shelter that would allow the shelter to budget for the expanding needs of the homeless population. Giving a homeless person $.25 periodically is likely to be less beneficial to the homeless person in the long run than goods and/or services. The periodic and paltry donation only encourages more begging with its attendent problems.

Meg Murray murray_m@a1.eop

Regarding the compliment paid in your last edition to friendship house, the tenleytown service center for the homeless, it may well be offering fine assistance to the homeless, but it is also responsible for the creation of a new and dangerous colony of homeless, including at least three violent crack addicts, at the entrance to the tenley metro under the sears building. metro transit police say they have given up trying to chase the men away even though numerous residents have complained about physical threats, verbal harassment, and, most disturbingly, a series of incidents in which the men taunted or followed children from adjacent janney elementary school. friendship house has turned a deaf ear toward community complaints--in direct contradiction to their promises before they were permitted to open on wisconsin avenue.

D.C. police say they send officers by the location daily to try to sweep the men out of the alcove--to no avail. as of yesterday, hechingers has hired a security guard in an attempt to protect their new investment in that site. but the guard appears to be on duty only during business hours, leaving the problem largely unsolved.

A quick weigh-in here from your quirky moderator. Since many homeless people have alcohol and drug addictions--and, incidentally, some are not on the streets because they are poor--much of the money you give to panhandlers ends up in the local liquor stores and in the pockets of drug dealers. That's what I was told by friends at Friendship Place. The best bet is to support homeless shelters and organizations such as Friendship Place. But as one worker told me, when it's cold and the person looks desperate, it's tough not to dig into your pocket.

Jeffrey Itell

Someone questioned whether bottles and papers are really separated and recycled or simply dumped in some large landfill somewhere. In our neighborhood (Northampton and Chevy Chase Parkway) it doesn't matter because none of the recyclable trash has been picked up since Monday, January 22. Most people diligently placed it out on the curb and left it there for a few days after the experience of a few weeks ago when the city didn't pay the contractor who refused to pick up, was paid on Tuesday and came around on Wednesday when people had returned the trash to their homes or garages. Now what? Has the city fallen behind on payments again? Or has the contractor just given up on collections?

I agree with the suggestion to have a bottle law. At least that way,we don't have to rely on the city to pay its bills. And we can supplement it by going back to the old method of dropping off newspapers at collection centers on Saturdays. Another alternative is carry yesterday's paper to the Metro the following morning and leave it in the newspapers only trash bins at your station.

Marty Ganzglass

Just a few comments. Regarding the whining about snow husband put our car in the garage the night it began to snow and we left it there for two weeks. We found that there wasn't anyplace that we really HAD to go that we couldn't get to on foot or public transportation. Most people on our block (3800 block of Alton Place) shoveled their sidewalks and helped each other, but there was one house on 39th where they just made a little path to their car and never touched the sidewalk. Regarding the homeless, I have never felt threatened in any way by a homeless person (I'm a woman, quite small). Fresh Fields is GREAT, if you can find the front door. The building is a disappointment. An opportunity for some really nice architecture was missed there. Now, what's going to be done with the rest of the block? How can the neighborhood have input into that?

Carolyn Long MAH0CO7@SIVM.SI.EDU

Not to toot my own horn but to give an example of how easy it is to give a helping hand in one's own community during a hard time... My friend Linda and I (mostly Linda) shoveled the side walk in front of the Melvin Hazen tributary on Connecticut Avenue just after the snow storm. It didn't take a whole lot of time, was fun and I'm sure many people benefited from it. So I guess my point is - I keep hearing all these complaints, maybe if we acted as a community things would have been alot better off.

Catherine Lancaster

Thanks for the great community service you're providing by sending the internet version of the D.C. story. I told my husband (who, by the way, hates computers but gets a kick out of what I pass along to him from your messages) that the global village is now here. I also like the unfiltered character of the messages. I can't stand PC anything, and the messages are refreshingly free of the rhetoric that turns me off when I pick up the Post.

Patty Raz

What did you think about Dole after the state of the union? I thought he looked like he was too old to be let out of the home. Also, he seemed at the end to be mangling one of Lincoln's old speeches. He was very scary. The Committee to Reelect the President should buy time and keep playing Dole's speech. It wasn't a Lincoln speech, but was the Lincoln exhibit itself from Disney World.

Lawrence Kaplan LK2@DC1.HHLAW.COM

MT PLEASANT: Attractive 2 bdrm apt for rent, Incl: garage space, frpl, hrdwd flrs, ceiling fans thruout, washer/dryer. Zoo, Adams Morgan, Rock Creek Park, bus line all easily accessible. $900/mo. Call 202-882-6244 or write

Write & Speak Like the News: The New Business Communication. Fresh journalism skills (plus traditional business writing and speaking skills) that advance your career. Seminars and consulting.

Ambassador Carl Stokes, former Cleveland mayor and presiding judge and WNBC-TV (New York) news anchor: "As one of the Ambassador Seminar participants last week, I had initially felt there wouldn't be much use in my attending the media section. After all, for eight years I'd earned my living as a television journalist. You made that a misconception indeed."

Request free writing tips: Hank Wallace, Esq. 3001 Veazey Terrace, NW, Washington, DC 20008. Phone 966-7866. E-mail

Every Thursday, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., join WAMU host Derek McGinty for a live, online talk show produced by Discovery Channel Online. Upcoming guests include:

1/25 -- Mark Taylor, recently selected as Carnegie Foundation US Professor of The Year for his creation of the first "global classroom" using the internet.

2/1 --Rob Shumaker, from the National Zoo's "Think Tank" -- a new exhibit/laboratory where orangutans learn to communicate with people.

2/8 -- Tod Machover, director of MIT Media Lab's Experimental Media facility and an innovator in computer music. You'll need an "internet relay chat" program such as Netscape Chat for PCs, or Ircle for Macs. For more information on the show, downloading software, and getting set up, point your web browser to this really long url: John Keefe, Producer, "Live! With Derek McGinty"


February 3. 7:00 pm. Saturday. The Washington International Coffee House resumes it's monthly Coffee House featuring entertainment and gourmet coffee. People of the world contributes to the many cultural presentations. The event is sponsored by the Washington International Church, meeting at the Fellowship Hall of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3655 Calvert St corner of Wisconsin Avenue, NW. For more information, please call (202) 298-6110. David Wong.

9 February 1996 7:30 p.m. Education Building Auditorium National Zoo Enter at Connecticut Ave. Park in Lot A Free, but RSVP requested. Call 202 673-4801 or e-mail to Irene Pepperberg, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona at Tucson, will present "In Search of King Solomon's Ring: Studies on Communication with African Grey Parrots." For the past 19 years, Pepperberg has worked with Alex, an African grey parrot, training him to use English to communicate with humans. Now she is studying his cognitive abilities based on how he grasps concepts that involve numbers, categories, and comparisons, such as "same and different" and "bigger and smaller." Members of the audience will meet Alex via video and see how this unique study is providing insights into how animals think. Office of Public Affairs, National Zoo Washington, D.C. 20008 (202) 673-4866, FAX (202) 673-4607

February 13: The Ward One Council, a non-partisan organization formed to identify problems facing our neighborhoods and to develop proposed solutions for those problems will present a panel on: "Strategies for a Cleaner Ward One" at 7PM. Reeves Municipal Center (14th. and U Streets). Free parking is available in the Reeves Center. For additional information send e-mail to or call Deborah Dougherty (202) 462-6234.


Millennium Institute State of the World Indicators 24 January 1996 Days until the January 1st, 2000: 1,439 World Population: 5,782,871,496 Years Until Insufficient Land - Northern Diet: 9 Years Until Insufficient Land - Southern Diet: 40 Species Extinctions Per Day: 104 Years Until 1/3 Of Species Are Lost: 10 Years Until Half of Crude Oil Is Gone: 4 Years Until 80% of Crude Oil Is Gone: 24 Percent Antarctic Ozone Depletion: 60 Carbon Dioxide, Years Until Doubling: 61

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."

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