themail.gif (3487 bytes)

February 20, 1996

The Primary Story

Dear Neighbors:

It's 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday night and our polls are now closed. We held them open an extra hour in case some intrepid reporter found that Buchanan has ties to skinheads. Your returns indicate that 50 percent of you believe that Dole will win while 35 percent believe (or fear) that Buchanan will win. Poor Lamar only received 4 votes (9 percent), beating out all others who collectively received 7 percent. I'm predicting Buchanan in a squeaker and you get to harangue me if I'm wrong (but I don't have to post your comments.)

Why Dole?

Dole prognosticators seemed quite lukewarm about their pick. Dole by a hair (5 used this expression). Dole but not by enough points to matter. Dole--although he'd make a lousy president--because his dour demeanor is something to which those crusty New Englanders (of which I am one) can relate. After three runs in New Hampshire you'd think Dole would have a little name recognition. Dole because the Republican stalwarts come out to prevent an party debacle, like Pat giving his acceptance speech wearing a white hood. Are these ringing endorsements for Dole or what?

Why Buchanan?

The general rationale for picking Buchanan was that Dole and Alexander would split the sane vote. Another common response? Pat Buchanan, God help us! Another voter didn't trust the folks in New Hampshire. Having lived in NH from 1971-1978 and visiting every year since, I'd be shocked if Pat B. doesn't win handily. Why? Because the spew of narrow-minded, xenophobic bigots resonates well with the populace there. One voter suggest Pat because he's a real man and real men eat granite. Another suggested that he run for Grand Dragon of the KKK. And finally, one reader wrote: I'm betting on Buchanan to win both the NH primary and the nomination because the Republicans have seen how much fun the dems have been having since the McGovern nomination and they've gotten jealous. Now they too want to nominate a candidate that 20% of the country views as "ideal" and 80% considers "insane." Personally, I wish them luck in their quest.

Why Lamar?

One reader says: Because I like the idea of foreigners mispronouncing his name as "President LAME-ur" and the people of New Hampshire won't do what the people of Iowa did, on purpose. And another rationalizes that New Hampshire Republicans would like to see the Clinton team sweat through the primary season.

Why Others?

Pursuaded by his simple, yet profound and powerful argument that he is the only Republican candidate who currently serves in the U.S. House of Representatives, New Hampshirites flock to the polls in record numbers, pushing Bob Dornan over the top. Or how about Henry Cabot Lodge? You can't keep a good man down.

Hey how about some community news for the next edition? Send it my way.

Jeffrey Itell



Does anyone know if the DC contract (with BFI) for recycling involves a payment from the city to BFI or is it just a contract for service with BFI's payment coming from their sale of the material? If there is a payment from the city to the recycling company, how much is it? Also, how much does BFI receive from the sale of recycled materials. Or is the agreement structured some other way? Finally, will the city council schedule hearings on the contract for recycling which is due to expire (the current contract is an extension of the first "emergency" contract).

Deborah Dougherty



Here's the story on recycling as I understand it to date: the District put out an RFP for recycling (after running the program on a succession of short-term emergency contracts for the last 8 or 9 months) and awarded the contract to the same firm (with subcontractors) that had been handling it -- Eagle Maintenance. Subsequent to selecting Eagle, the District has been renegotiating the terms and as part of that renegotiation the every-other-week plan came into being. None of that makes sense to me. I've asked for a copy of the RFP and the contract itself because I want to see the paper before I go any further.

The two issues are (1) whether the city is violating its own procurement rules by substantially changing the nature of a contract after it's gone through a competitive bid procedure (that is, going from once a week to every other week is a pretty substantial change) and (2) the issue you raise about whether it's possible to sustain a recycling program with that frequency of pick up. I don't think it is. Another wrinkle is that the contract is worth, as I recall, something under $1 million a year -- $700,000 comes to mind. That means it does not automatically go to the Council for approval because $1 million is the cut-off point. So do we have a $700,000 contract that perhaps should have been $1 million to cover once-a-week pick up? Is there something else going on here such that the Barry administration doesn't want closer scrutiny? I don't mean to imply something wrong with the contractor -- that appears to be a good operation. At the same time, I don't plan on letting this drop.

Kathy Patterson


District Services

You won't believe this, but I have a positive--not a negative--story about DC services. Earlier last week, after the fourth (?) round of snow had melted, our short block of Cathedral Avenue showed numerous potholes (just like everywhere else). Although I didn't think it would make any difference, I called the Mayor's pothole-fixing number and spoke with a very pleasant woman. She said that I was only one of many who wanted services and that she would put me on the list. After I urged her to put me at the TOP of the list, she said she would see what she could do. She also said she would have her boss, a Mr. Jenkins, call me. Well, Jenkins never called, but--wonder of wonders--the NEXT DAY, all the potholes were filled! Chalk up one for responsiveness on the part of the District.

Rona Mendelsohn



I hate CVS too and rarely shop there although I live right across the street from one here in Adams Morgan. I shop the Midtown Pharmacy on Columbia Road just south of 19th St. It's a small, well-stocked, friendly, personal, old-fashioned pharmacy and needs the support of all who care about small business survival.

Wallace Gordon Dickson


8 March. Attend Charlie Adler's Samba Club - Brazilian Carnival Party" and expect it to be Hot Hot Hot!!! Fire eaters, acrobats, native dancers and other entertainers will make this the premier club event of the year. The last party I had was attended by over 500 people and received Rave Reviews (I'm not biased or anything, am I?!) Coco Loco, 810 7th St., NW in Chinatown, only two blocks from the Gallery Place metro. Doors open at 10 PM and the party continues until 3 AM. -The cover charge is $10

Charlie Adler Party Hotline: (202)333-5588 email:


21 March. The next Zoo lecture is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Education Building Auditorium. Enter at Connecticut Ave. and Park in Lot A. The program is free, but please RSVP by calling (202) 673-4801 or e-mailing to

In recognition of Women's History Month and the Smithsonian's 150th anniversary, Andrew Connors, associate curator at the National Museum of American Art, will present an illustrated lecture, "Art for Science: Botanical Illustration and Photography by Mary Vaux Walcott."

When Walcott was in her twenties, she made her first trip to the Canadian Rockies, where she became a mountain climber, photographer, and botanical illustrator. As a woman, she received no recognition for her drawings or her photographs, which were exhibited only under her surname. In 1913 on one of her research trips to the Canadian Rockies, she met Charles Doolittle Walcott, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. They married the next year. In 1925, 400 of her illustrations were published by the Smithsonian in a five-volume set titled "North American Wild Flowers."

Connors talk will be richly illustrated with slides of the Canadian Rockies, the desert Southwest, and other locations where Walcott focused her artistic and scientific talents.


The End


Jeffrey Itell Publisher: dc.story

Tel: 202.244.4163 P.O. Box 11260 Fax: 202.362.1501 Washington, D.C. 20008-0460

Your Electronic Backfence


Send mail with questions or comments to
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)