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February 26, 1996

Is the Mayor for Real?

Dear Neighbors:

With all the attention garnered by Homeboy Pat's Aryan Nation Tour, it's easy to lose site that a whole lot of politicking is happening in our city. Let's bring you up to date. The Control Board has recommended cuts for the current budget to keep us from going further in the tank. The Chief Financial Officer--Tony (the Tiger) Williams--has exceeded expectations for toughness. The Mayor No Longer Known as the Financial Wizard has produced a 4-year plan that on cursory glance looks and smells like a real 4-year plan. The mayor proposes 10,000 job cuts. Though the mayor announces the era of big government is over, only days before Mrs, Mayor--gazing menacingly at arch enemy Donald Graham--predicted blood in the streets if the city's budget was cut. A mere domestic dispute?

So my question to you is this: Do you believe that our elected and nonelected officials are finally getting a grip on the city's problems? Or do believe that the city is still drifting like a piece of acadia wood on the Potomac? Extra credit will be given for the reasoning supporting your answer. Warning: I plan to use this material to prepare this week's Digital Ink column.

Jeffrey Itell


Tree Removal

A few weeks back I was walking near my home, down 19th street between S and T NW and I saw a most amazing sight! A large tree had come down on top of a car parked on 19th, totally crushing the car and making for quite a scene. No one appeared hurt, but the normally blase' commuters walking to work stopped dead in their tracks as they passed the car. I guess we can expect more of this in the future.

Jon Desenberg Jon


Tree Removal

Re: Alleged death of D.C. dead tree removal: Hall Place in Glover Park must have been lucky to have had two dead trees removed last month. For the last two years a dead tree has threatened my mother's house on Ingomar Street in Chevy Chase, so I handed the crew leader a note saying, "Next Stop: Ingomar Street." But it didn't seem to take.

Taylor Simmons



Talk about adding insult to injury: did you hear Bob Marburgh (WTOP's traffic reporter) during the Friday (Feb 23) evening rush hour? He reported to his audience that suburbanites should stay away from the District until the potholes are fixed. Yikes!

Is that really the message that 2.5 million people need to be hearing right now? I've been listening to WTOP for twenty years, but if I hear that message again, maybe we should think about staying away from WTOP instead.

Norm Linsky



The various correspondents keep getting exercised about all the recyclables being put into one receptacle when the stuff is collected. Yes, it SEEMS inefficient, but a couple years ago someone from DPW spoke to one of my neighbors about this VERY topic and explained that the materials, all recyclables only, are sorted at the recycling center. It's much more efficient in the end because they don't have to maintain separate trucks and can use the on-site recycling staff to rake apart the various components (why this is not difficult I don't recall). Now that was when DPW was doing the recycling itself. With Eagle or whoever now has the contract, they make money with the recylables so it's very unlikely they are dumping the stuff in a landfill. However, that remains to be checked out.

[The Post reported that Eagle finds it more efficient to separate trash at their warehouses. Which begs the question of why the city asks you to separate your recyclables? jeff]

Stephanie Gerard



Who are the people in the wings ready to run for Mayor? It's time for some new leadership in this city, and I'd welcome a discussion of potential candidates -- some thoughts about ways those of us in Ward three can be looked at as other than spoilers, and some positive news about up and coming younger activists ready to deal with the crises in the city.

Rumor has it the steak knife mugger has resurfaced -- any one know anything about locations, details? As an Ordway Street resident who lived through the last round of muggins, I'd like to keep current on his actions. Thanks.

Margie Siegel MASiegel



Is there really going to be an Italian restaurant next to Roma? That sounds pretty goofy to me.

Evan Roth



AND THE WINNER IS...Coppi's Pizza's second location will be located in the former Peking Restaurant in Cleveland Park [next to the Roma]. They have another location at 14th & U ST, NW. They have excellent pizza of the wood burning variety, and probably the world's smallest kitchen at their original location. For your info, Coppi is the name of a famous cyclist who won an immense number of events in the ?50's? Their restaurant is small but they do phenomenal sales.

Unfortunately, I was representing a tenant called Big Sky Bread Company (I know, Uptown Bakery is on the same block) and they came in second (close only counts in horseshoes and hand....). Anybody out there know about a great location in NW or Rockville for a 2,500 to 3,000 square foot bakery, preferably with some kind of parking???

Contact Charlie Adler. Fischer Organization. 202.783.3333.



I would like to chime in on the other side of the Higgers/CVS debate. I despise the service that you receive at the Higgers at Conn. & Nebraska. The service is uniformly surly; they *always* close at least 5-10 minutes before the appointed hour, and on and on. I bet CVS will lower price and improve hours.

Tracy Greer



Who can help me to reconstruct the roster of nightclubs that have occupied the Avignon Freres space on Columbia Road? Chalk it up to my usually addled state during the 80s, but I only remember (in perhaps the wrong order) Ozone, then Dakota/Montana, then Opera, then???????

I feel like I have these switched or have left something out. This was inspired by the recent message that an Ozone was opening in the former Roxy space. It couldn't be the same people, could it?

I'd also appreciate hearing from anyone who remembers the pedigree of Fifth Column. Wasn't it The Bank, then the Vault, then Fifth? I'd be delighted to find out what else it was even further back.

I know I am dating myself (but I am married, so I can't date anyone else!)

Lisa Wormser



There is much deserved unhappiness with the School Board and the Superintendent of Schools in D.C. My own impression is that the Superintendent doesn't really have a clue about what is happening in the city's schools. If he does know, and is not taking action to correct the myriad of problems, then that is even worse.

Several folks have proposed having local community school boards to replace the central board. At first glance this looked attractive to me . I served on a school board for five years in a small district on L.I. that had under 3000 students and only three schools (one Elem., one middle, and one high school). All of the Board members were parents elected by the community and there was a Superintendent hired by the Board.

In this well to do community there was great interest in providing a first class education to the students and the result was a fine school system at an exorbitant cost per student. It seemed to me that this system might work in the District if parents would actively participate in the activities of their community's schools.

An article in Saturday's N.Y. Times has given me some second thoughts about local community boards. New York City has had local boards for the last thirty years and the city's schools are in a state of crisis. Most of this has been brought about by local politics, complex union rules and ties and cozy deals with state legislators. As a result, the Mayor of NYC is proposing to reform the system by recentralizing the Central Board with some regional boards and regional superintendents.

The size of the school system here in D.C. does not need regional, or community boards. D.C. needs a committed single board with an active, intelligent Superintendent who can make things happen. The majority of people elected to the Board should be concerned parents from most of the wards in the city. This is a better way of fixing the problems than by adding a multilayered bureaucracy that will result in finger pointing instead of fixing.

Ed Barron



We all know that men are not quite as adept at fashion as women. In fact guys will pretty much wear anything, anytime, with anything. This creates the false impression that guys just "throw" any old thing on. This however is not the case. As this handy little guide points out, getting dressed is a highly complex and organized ritual for men.

The Male Guide to Selecting an Outfit

---------- ----------- -------------------
| Are there| No  | Are there | "What's a | Are there clothes |
|clothes in|---->|clothes in | hamper?"  | strewn in random  |
| dresser? |     |the hamper?|---------->|piles on the floor?|
---------- ----------- -------------------
       | Yes           | Yes         | Yes       | No
       --------------------------------------- V
                |                                     --------
       V                                     | Buy   |
---------------                              | more  |
| Take whatever |                             |clothes|
| is on top     | -------
-----------------             -----------------------
       |                      |
       V                      V
--------     No --------- -----------
| Is    |------------>| Perform | "Ohmigosh" |  Spray   |
| it    | Not sure    | smell   |----------->|   with   |
| clean?|------------>| test    |             |deodorant|
-------- --------- -----------
    | Yes                | "Not bad"
--------------                    ----------
|For underwear:| "Which ones are |Will they| "I may get
|Are there many|   for my legs?" | be      | arrested."
|   holes?     |---------------->| visible?|--------
--------------                     ---------      |
       | No                             | No     V
+---------------------------------------   -------------
   |                                        |Place item on|
   |                                        | dirty pile; |
   |                                        | start over  |
   |                                         -------------
---------       ------------         ----------------------
| Is it   | Yes  | Do you     | Yes  | But would you rather |
|wrinkled?|----->|really care?|----->| have a tick on your  |
--------- ------------               | eyeball than iron a  |
   | No              | No              |         shirt?         |
   |                 |                  ----------------------
   |                 |                               | Yes
--------    Kinda            --------           -----------
| Does  |------------------>| Is it | No     | Seek the   |
|  it   | "Does it what?"   | dark  |------->| advice of |
| match?|------------------>| out?  |        | a female  |
--------                     --------           -----------
   | Yes                        | Yes
| Put on  |
| clothes |


The End


Jeffrey Itell Publisher: dc.story

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

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