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February 19, 1996

The New Hampshire Primary Pole

Dear Neighbors:

The New Hampshire Primary takes place Tuesday. Although dc.story's readership is approximately 102 percent Democrat--and I know I will now hear from Republicans--I think it would be interesting to find out who YOU think will win the New Hampshire primary. Let's see how wrong we can be.

All you need to do is hit the reply button and type in one of these names: Bob Dole, Lamar Alexander, Pat "Supremacist" Buchanan, Steve "Don't Call Me Malcom" Forbes, Alan Keyes, Richard Lugar, Morry Taylor, or Bob Dornan. If I left someone out, who cares? Feel free to add a one sentence reason for your selection. Please submit your reply by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday (even though CNN will probably have called the race on Monday).

Remember, vote early and often because your vote doesn't really matter.

Jeffrey Itell



After twenty-three years in DC, I'm leaving, and I'm taking my two kids, my SO, the cat and the dog with me. I've spent these years loving this city, defending this city, sending my kids to public schools in this city, running a small business in this city, spending my money in this city, in short, supporting this city. I've sacrificed to pay inflated rents in this city because I thought it was a worthwhile place to live. Crime? Hey, it comes with the territory. It's a beautiful city, full of awesome places, peopled with smart, funny diversity.

But now, I gotta get out of Dodge. And if I could, I'd get as far away from Dodge as possible.

But. I've got these two kids who grew up in this city, both rare natives. They're old enough that I can't just yank them out of their lives and say, "Hey! We're moving to Montana!" So what do I do? The city is no longer a congenial, beautiful place to live. I can no longer justify the outrageous cost of living. If I can move 20 miles out and be floored by plowed roads, roads, mind you, not streets, two lane roads that see 1/100th the traffic of the major street I live on, then I gotta go. We live in a big old Chevy Chase DC house now, but if I can find the same space for a third of the cost, I'm a fool for not taking it.

These were not considerations for me a year ago. I gladly traded the money for the opportunity to live here. For years and years that was my argument- it's a fabulous city, sure it's expensive to live here, but look what you get for your money! I scorned people who would trade a 45 minute commute for the glory of living in the city.

Call me a quitter if you will, but I suspect 23 years of dues to the District of Columbia counts for something. I don't expect much- my trash to be picked up, to be able to move my car after a snowstorm, my mayor not to send 83 different messages about what the budget may or may not constitute, the cops to respond with a little bit better than an "Oh well" after a robbery.

Perhaps suburban living will offer no better, but at least I won't be paying a fortune for the same bad services. Hey, at some point, we all have to get real, right?

Meg Saunders



What do I hate about CVS?

You mean, besides the fact that there are virtually no other options? Well, there's the higher prices, the utterly incompetent service, the grubby atmosphere, and the limited selection of merchandise, for starters. Beyond that there's a gripe I hold with several retailers, which is that there is no real variety; the merchandise sold is exactly the same as that sold everywhere else, and consists largely of identical ingredients in different-colored packaging. About the only pharmacies left that have any personality at all are Tschiffely's and Rodman's, that I know of. When you have a large monopoly retailer, like CVS, the only suppliers it can use are large-scale manufacturers. Any items made by a company smaller than a major multinational are dropped from the stock list.

I forgot to mention that Fresh Fields has a lot of drugstore-type items, though of a special kind. But try finding, say, sulfur-containing soap (a good treatment for that skin fungus that leaves pale patches, I can't think of the name -- tinea versicolor?) in a CVS. They don't have it, just as they don't have any other small-company products.

Here are still a few non-CVS outlets out there, and I encourage residents to use them: Rodman's, on Wisconsin, fills prescriptions and a lot of other needs as well. The Ellicot Street Safeway also has a pharmacy. Both stores sell "drugstore" items, as do places like the Cosmetic Center, and at competitive prices. I have stopped buying *anything* at CVS, out of pure disgust. When they took over I thought "It can't be any worse than People's" but was wrong, wrong, wrong. You'd think I'd have learned by now not to say such things.....

stephanie faul



The idea of picking up the recylables every two weeks won't be great for me. Our little family of two produces an overflowing recyclable bin (issued by the District) each week. I agree with Bill Alder. Bring back the entrepreneurs on the weeks that the District doesn't pick them up. This will, eventually put the D.C. pickup out of business. Then we can form a combine/coop in Ward 3 to pick it up each week. With the profits we hire three or four snow plows on big snow fall days and plow out Ward 3 each winter. Bootstrapping works.



If I remember correctly, there was some kind of law passed that makes it illegal to pick up recycling that the recyclers are supposed to get. However, there's no way of issuing tickets for this (for some reason that I don't remember). Why not eliminate the law (yeah, right, that'll happen. Sure...) or just make it known that recycling stuffs will go out in all neighborhoods on all Fridays. Then let the two groups compete for it. What's the worst that could happen?

[The law is fuzzy. The city maintains that the recyclables belong to it once the bottles and such are placed in a city bin on a city curb. Of course, it's stealing before the trash gets to that point. D.C. wants to clarify the law but quite rightly, they don't want to pass the law before they figure out a way to enforce it. Officials have been working on this problem for at least two years. jeff]

Dan Turner



[I don't get it by I like it. jeff]


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Rob Meisnere


The End


Jeffrey Itell Publisher: dc.story

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