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February 2, 1996

Speed the Plow

Dear Neighbors:

Before I prejudice the discussion with my remarks, I'd welcome your comments on the recent budget brouhahas among the mayor, the chief financial officer, and the Control Board. And if you don't care, let's know that as well.

Also, I'm considering writing a story in which I will need the help of four Northwest D.C. residents. I can't reveal much about the idea but your duties would require no heavy lifting. I suspect our endeavor will also be fun. I will need three to four hours of your time on Saturday, February 17. Please send me a message marked Volunteer if you are interested.

Also, please remember to sign your messages. Both names and email addresses please. And please encourage your email friends to subscribe. Membership now stands at 360. My goal is one thousand members by the end of March. For financial reasons I can't get into, it's important to meet this goal. Please help.


Jeffrey Itell


Re: the swastikas painted around Conn. Ave and Calvert. A whole bunch of these were found on traffic light boxes around the Capitol and the Capitol Police even arrested someone caught in the act.

I don't know if this could be the same guy --who knows if he was released from custody or whatever--but those swastikas are all over the city. I see them across from my office near 15th st., and still around the Capitol. A few years ago the Metro PD made a few arrests... maybe they're back?

Whatever, I think we should make a stink out of it and get them removed. I'd rather have broken sidewalks than have to look at swastikas.


Ted Weidlein writes about bizarre locations for street repair. One Sunday, last fall, we found crews (plural, that is) painting new pedestrian lines in the street at the corner of 43rd Place and Murdock Mill. Now, perhaps five cars a day pass that intersection, and maybe ten pedestrians--on a busy day. What was that about? On a Sunday? These guys got overtime for that. We were extremely puzzled, and I'm interested to see that it goes on elsewhere. What is the deal? Who picks what gets done where and when? If anyone knows, I'd love to find out.

A Sanford


news about the sidewalk repairs was interesting, to say the least. but how can we change these decisions? especially if it's been going on for years, decades? i suppose through the usual venues, i.e. letter-writing?

janine micunek


Since you're printing anonymous submissions, please don't use my name on this one because I am breaking the law. On December 15, 1995 I received a DC registration renewal form for my car, whose registration expired on January 1, 1996. I figured what the hell and sent the form in anyway. According to my bank's automatic balance feature, the check cleared on December 19. So far (far more than 15 working days later, even including the holidays and the snow) I haven't received the renewal tags. My car is parked safely out of the way, but.... I'll let you know if my tags ever do arrive. I figure if I'm not street legal by May I'll go down in person. They'll probably make me pay again, and claim it's all my fault, and tell me that if I'd done the paperwork properly, everything would have been just fine, and why am I complaining? It's not *that* big a deal to have the government keep your money for six weeks and not perform the service for which you tendered the funds. In the meantime, I'm liable for a ticket because it seems that the only people who actually do any work in the DMV are the ones who deposit the checks.

A D.C. driver


just wanted to respond to the person wondering about va. ticketing habits. it is also my feeling that va. police are all-too-anxious to ticket any driver, not just out-of-staters. i lived in va. for one yr. near the pentagon (okay, so i lost my mind temporarily) and was ticketed twice in that year. those were my only two tickets in about 15 yrs. of driving. one was for running a red light -- even my passenger witnessed it as a yellow light; the second was a trap set up that catches about 10 drivers or so twice a month w/a very tiny sign posted atop an overpass that applies for two hrs. ea. morning. anyway, my new awareness is, if it feels like something's up, it probably is.

janine micunek


Mr. Blessing is quite right. Most states/cities/counties have reciprocal taxes so that workers are taxed where they work. Sometimes this is just a percentage of the total tax they pay (e.g. 1%-2%) and it is deducted to the total amount they owe the locality where they live. Thus it does not usually cost the worker any more--it just shifts who gets what. Usually it balances out. This tax would probably get passed for the D. C. area if (1) you could point out to Congressmen from other than Md and Va. that this is happening in their state and (2) perhaps more importantly, that this is good for the health of the region as a whole.



Regarding the "commuter tax", the DC government should also be allowed to tax Congressional staff in the same way. So many live in DC but declare official residency in their home state (if it is the same as their boss'). This is legal but should be changed for the sake of DC. Of course they should also not be double taxed.

Kris Hoeschler


My comments on goings on about town to you who have knowledge & clout,clout said like a proud mother.I went -- believe it or not -- to the Borders on 18 St. and was -- for the first time -- mighty impressed with a DC megabookstore. Of course, nothing compares to a relaxing evening at Politics and Prose, especially since they seem to have the most active and interesting lecture program; and Kramerbooks always FEELS good, among the hubub and clutter and cultural barrage of both book and people content. But I never felt that any of the megastores here could hold a candle to even mainstream NYC stores -- Barnes and Noble, Brentanos, Doubleday etc. Crown, of course is so sanitized. And every time I went to Borders in Rockville, sure they had any book I wanted -- if I ordered it. And the Barnes and Noble now in G-town seems to be large and lovely-looking, but still weak on variety of content. But I was blown away this week by the Borders on 18 St. (I'd be interested to know if it is arranged differently from the one at White Flint or actually has a more varied inventory, and larger.) I wonder how it compared to the three in Va. And why does Va. have 3 and Md. has one? I thought that Mont. Co. was found by Borders to be the most well-read area in the country and that's why they chose to start there...SO -- this leads to: what the hell is going in place of Hechingers? Not to hurt Politics and Prose, which is so very special to the neighborhood, but how about a Borders?

I like the wave of sophisticated mega bookstores opening in DC -- I hope they don;t hurt Kramerbooks, P&P and Olsson's, but I think they are desperately needed (and I hope they drive all Crowns to close.) This wave is far better than the wave of coffeeshops -- not that some aren;t nice, but do we really need a Starbucks, Quartermaine's, Brother's and a cheap imitation of all three, in every neighborhood in the Greater DC area? Every neighborhood begins to look the same. My local gelato/cappucino place was displaced by a Quartermaines -- or a Starbucks (is this the one that boasts roasting beans in ROCKVILLE, MD??!! Whooa! ) -- or Brothers -- or whateverthehellitis. And why??

But on a lighter note - Bread and Circus opens this weekend. I used to eat there in Cambridge often. But it's a changed store, though a welcome addition... I wish they had located at the site of Brookville Market (which I know is so dear to those heading up the "Save the Brookville Market" coalition.



Saturday was my first visit to the Tenleytown Fresh Fields. Wow. They have done a dynamite job in making an untidy area into a very attractive SOHO-like loft area grocery store. It is very attractive, appealing, and probably very cost effective. I hope the folks at Super Fresh have seen it and will remodel their store in as attractive manner. I even found the front door on my first attempt as a walker (not a parker). Well done, Fresh Fields.

Ed Barron



Here's a pop quiz for everyone. Send in your replies. I'll tell you if you're correct. The real answer will be revealed in the next issue.

The January 23 Washington post article on Raymond Chandler contained a factual error. How many novels did the reporter claim Chandler wrote in his lifetime? How many did he, in fact, write? And in what section did the article appear?

Lisa Wormser


Bad ASCII Art Contest

[We received a number of lovely entries in our bad art contest, but we are looking for more. Please send your finds our way. Who knows what riches we may bestow upon the winner. Meanwhile, we will showcase some of our favorite art. jeff]

Mountain biker:

        __                                  /\
               _ \_\o                    / \      / \    /\
              (_)/ _\.                  /    \/\  /   \_--/ \
               \     (_)                /        \/            \
                 \___________________/                       \______

                        _ \<_-

                            ( O-O )

Evan Roth


For the past few months the Chevy Chase DC public library has been offering free weekly, "Introduction to Telecommunications" classes on Saturday afternoons. These small group classes are geared to answering whatever questions people bring to class. If you know of anyone looking to expand their knowledge of the online world, send 'em over this way. We'll take good care of them.

There is a registration form to sign up for the class in a green folder at the reference desk of Chevy Chase DC library. Classes are held upstairs in the small meeting room at the back of the children's room. The beginner's class takes place from 1 PM to 3 PM. Advanced beginner's class from 3 PM to 5 PM. No previous computer or online experience necessary. For further info, contact Phil Shapiro, (202) 686-5465,


Wednesday, February 7, 1996: Stress Doc Enterprises presents Disarming, Deflating & Dealing with Perfectionistic, Power-Driven and Passive People. Dynamic two hour support group/workshop (7-9:00pm; followed by refreshments and post-social networking). Place: Corcoran House, 1616 18th St., NW #107 (2 blocks from Dupont Metro.) Led by Mark Gorkin, LICSW, "The Stress Doc," national speaker, trainer & OD consultant with over twenty years experience as a psychotherapist. Information: (202) 232-8662 or e-mail:

Saturday, February 10, 1996: Stress Doc Enterprises presents Restructuring, Rage and Risk-Taking: 3 "R"s for Career Survival. Dynamic 21/2 hour workshop on managing loss, stress, change and career alternatives. (10-30am-1:00pm; refreshments served.) Place: El Bodegon Restaurant, 1637 R Street, NW (4 blks from Dupont Metro). Led by Mark Gorkin, "The Stress Doc." (See above for more details and information.)


BOOK EDITOR/MARKETING WRITER. Does that nonfiction opus or novel need a last-minute once-over? Experienced book editor has shaped manuscripts on such subjects as the Mexican silver industry, role of women in the knowledge economy, and how to balance family and work. Also: marketing packages and brochures. Clients include Apple Computer, IBM, Digital, USA Today. Projects of all sizes welcomed, from a 2-page pitch letter to a full-scale marketing campaign. I also name companies! References. Firm project prices, no surprises. JEAN LAWRENCE, (202) 362-8585, (202) 537-2980 (fax), JKELLAW@AOL.COM.


The End


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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