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March 5, 1996

The Very Long Edition

Dear Neighbors:

This week's Digital Ink column deals with the District's budget--the 1996 budget and the Mayor--no-longer-known-as-the-Financial-Wizard's 4-year "Vision" for the District. Today's Washington Post reports that the Mayor's Medicaid numbers are squirrelly. I identified that problem and a few more (with the help of some shrewd analysts). To be kind, let's just say the plan is a start.

With the help of the Washington Post article, we have breached the 500 barrier. Subscriptions now stand at around 560. With your help, I'd like to double that number by the end of April.


Jeffrey Itell


Public/Private Partnerships

Because Editor Itell was unaccountably absent from the Saturday morning meeting of the Cleveland Park Citizens Association [I was sleeping in, thank you. jeff] and, as a recovering journalist, I can't let a good story go unreported, I offer this account of the meeting.

Background: In February I spoke to the association, basically bad news and more bad news on the District budget. In the Q&A period the audience talked about options for citizens to pitch in, particularly in the realm of public safety. There was pretty strong sentiment that public safety remains a priority for residents and that, for the duration of the fiscal crisis, there might be avenues other than the District budget itself for meeting some of the needs of the public safety agencies. The idea: creating a 501(c)(3) that could be a channel for community assistance to the police and fire departments.

As a result of that discussion, for the March meeting President Stephen Koczak invited representatives of successful public-private partnerships to describe their organizations. Jill Bogard talked about the Friends of Cleveland Park Library; Clinton Fields described the Friends of the National Zoo (I learned FONZ had been a spin-off of the Cleveland Park association), and Kathleen Gundry talked about the John Eaton Home & School Association. The library organization raises money for special requests (one example: the 40-inch television used for children's programs). Most branch libraries have friends organizations and there's a D.C. federation that now has a spot on the library system's board of trustees. Each branch organization raises funds and pays dues to the federation; the federation doesn't raise money separately. FONZ is a major supporter and money-maker, including retail sales of food and other items. The Eaton HSA raises over $100,000 a year and, like other HSA/PTAs, hires teachers and aides and pays for landscaping etc., and is a major contributor to Parents United for the D.C. Schools, the citywide advocacy organization. All three offer models that could be used in supporting the public safety sector.

Both police and fire representatives also spoke at the meeting. Second District Inspector Jacqueline Barnes said 2D has a nonprofit entity (maybe a 501(c)(3) ) that accepts funds for community services. She also described a homeless initiative she wants to put in place that could use $3,500 in special uniforms but didn't think, at first blush, that she could accept cash. Fire Department Captain Patrick C. Johnson from Truck Co. 14 up the street came with a 3-page wish list (typewriters, a vacuum) and went home with $200 promised by the association for a piece to repair a shower and a promise of a used computer to be delivered that afternoon. President Koczak will circulate the list. He also took names of association members willing to sign the requisite papers to create a 501(c)(3).

That was as far as the meeting went and it's anticipated a nonprofit can be created before the next meeting. For my part, I try to balance the belief that police, fire, schools, libraries, etc., are distinct priorities for PUBLIC dollars with the concern that for several years at minimum such public priorities can use private assistance. There are constituents I have spoken with who would like to contribute to meet specific needs, who would be loath to write a check to the District's general fund. There are individuals who want to support their neighborhood institutions; and others who would like to contribute to strengthen the police, for instance, in all parts of the city. Both are laudable. It's my hope that what gets created could meet both civic instincts -- to improve public safety in our own neighborhoods and in the District as a whole.

What do dc.story readers/writers think? [Please send your responses to dc.story, not to Ms. Patterson. jeff]

Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson



I was walking back from a friend's house on Ashmeade Place at about 1 a.m.; I saw this individual standing on the little patch of lawn in front of my building (2100 Connecticut Ave.). He shouted in a non-asking way "You got a wallet?" and started moving toward me. I ran, shouted for help, and--just like it always goes in the movies--tripped and fell at the point where the driveway meets the sidewalk. (Scraped up my hands something fierce in the process.) Then he put his gun to my head and gave me what I presume is the usual rap, complete with an uncreative use of the word "fuck". I gave him my wallet, he ran over to a waiting Saturn coupe (black, with white tags--I presume the plain Virginia style, but I didn't come closer to look).

To answer the question all of my white brothers and sisters seem to ask first, yes, he was black.

Then I went upstairs and called 911; inside of five minutes, there were four cruisers on the scene. I am very grateful to the officers of the Second District who took my report in a professional and understanding manner and did *not* act like they were doing this just because they had a form to fill out. As far as I can tell, this was the first the cops had heard of this particular scumbag.

Then I called my brother, poured myself a drink, and we talked for the next hour and a half.

Ironically enough, this is my *second* encounter with street crime; about three weeks ago, stumbling home from a party (I know, I know, dumb!) I got knocked down and punched out several times on Columbia Road by three men. I didn't report that one because I barely saw these guys--I noticed them only a second before I got decked, and then I was trying to shielf my face. Left me with a nasty-looking black eye, a busted lip, and several other bruises around my face. I didn't even realize the extent of the damage until the next morning, when I looked into the mirror.

Basically, whoever's running the Welcome Wagon in the District has really got their head up their ass :)

Well, there you have it; My Life As A Crime Statistic.

Rob Pegoraro



Can anyone provide me some info on the old police station that Iona demolished in Tenleytown, such as when it was built, how long it was vacant, and any other interesting stories? I loved walking by it everyday, wondering what kind of history it may have hosted.

Dan Wedemeyer



Why doesn't David Levine just retrocess himself to Maryland? Would he be lonely there without the rest of us?

sam smith


State of the City

Please take some of the load off your e-mailer and delete me from the list. I think your e-column is pretty good, actually, but my interest in the City of My Origin has ebbed to a new low -- so low, in fact, that not only am I disinterested, I find any mention of the place irritating. I remember when the streetcars rode the rails, large parts of the city were inhabited by middle class folks with jobs and intact families and a walk in Rock Creek Park was safe and serene. There were problems, of course (the SW slums among them), but on the whole the place was livable. The present situation is all so very sad that I'd rather not have to read about it in my e-mail. What irritates me the most are comments by those who suggest we look at the bright side -- what the city has that is still of value. It's like suggesting that one ought to be happy that the muck in which one is standing is only thigh high -- it could be neck high. Have patience -- without intervention that's coming....

Good luck!

Morris Kaplowitz


State of the City

I read the Leap Year edition, including a letter tut-tutting us for being negative and not acknowledging Washington's rich cultural offerings. I agree that one must accept a certain amount of danger and irritation for the privilege of living in a large metropolitan area. That's just the way it is in this, the last 10% of the 20th century. Or should I say, that is what it has come to.

Do you know that, heartbreaking as it was to see Army Jeeps in the streets of the city keeping order in 1968 -- it is sadder still now that our police cannot afford the gas to police our streets, three-quarters of the snow plows are missing a spark plug (or whatever), the number of panhandlers is increasing exponentially, our schools are dangerous and inadequate (in some cases, actually falling in), some bum with a steak knife can hold up 20 people on the same corner where my teenager gets off the subway every afternoon, four armed men could pull open my backdoor (Dupont Circle, 1981) and terrorize my husband and myself for six hours, etc. I could go on, but why bother? Yes, I'd say these are negative comments.

I am a fighter, not a runner. For four years, I ran a group to help the unemployed at Foundry Church. For nine years, I have published a crusading newsletter. After the crime above, I stuck it out 5 years, then moved to Reston, then moved back to my beloved Washington. But there comes a point, when you have to know when to regroup. For every person, that breaking point is different. My business support system in Cleveland Park has collapsed. The copy store has no copiers (temporarily, we hope), the Post Office is a shambles for several more months, our wonderful Library is open erratically (tho still open, thanks to the Cleveland Park Library Association and others), and you heard what happened at the tax office. The human spirit is resilient, but there's a limit.

True, as your correspondent noted, spring is coming. I will miss spring in my beautiful Washington when I move. I will miss all the friends I have made here, I will miss the Kennedy Center, the Uptown (remember the Circle Theatre?), the Aquatic Gardens, the Phillips Gallery, my beloved Zoo where I walk every morning, my precious Home Alone Support Group meetings, the Employment Mission I co-founded, my screenwriting group, Foundry Church, my loyal clients and business associates. That list goes on, too. But I am afraid to stay here and raise my child. It's as simple as that. The center isn't holding (to quote Yeats). We deserve better. This is not business as usual.

But rather than inflict any more negative views on this list, I will leave it at that. Good-bye, all. And Good Luck to you. Maybe I'll write from Phoenix. I know bad things happen there, too. I'm just hoping to lengthen my odds.




The mail that I got since last week went from friends who were excited about my bid for the at-large council seat(as a Democrat) to a call for my defeat at the ballot box. I hope that as the campaign heats up that everyone that is a D. C. voter do two things: circle your calander for Sept. 10th to vote and give yourself a chance to get to know me better. If you are unhappy with the current direction of the city council then you owe it to yourself at least one new person who is working to be elected this year. First we need to balance the budget... more to follow.

John Capozzi



In a setting more reminiscent of a gospel prayer service than a Mayor's briefing to city residents, the Mayor disclosed details of the District Government transformation plan to an audience of over 200 "Special Friends of the Mayor". The briefing was held at Judiciary Square in the auditorium and began with a decent audio/visual slide show to show the city at its finest and it's worst.

The Mayor, resplendent in his white and brown African jacket, spoke with no notes and charmed the audience with his vision for the District. The handout entitled "A vision for America's First City" is an executive summary of a plan to transform the District Government. The plan has been in the making for the last four months with the aid of a consulting firm in Georgetown working with a Steering Committee and some of the senior D.C. Government officials. It is a "Zero Based" plan which goes back to basics and starts with a clean sheet of paper for how to run the District. I have to admit that this is a very good plan.

The new D.C. Government would be split into six "Retail" businesses and four "Wholesale" businesses. Each customer oriented business would have a specific focus on either service or policy. The six Retail businesses are: Public Protection;Physical Infrastructure; Economic Development; Education; Human Development; and Comprehensive Health. The Wholesale business are: Policy; Public Management; Financial Management; and Legal Services.

Now any plan is better than no plan but this one is a really decent approach, in my opinion, to getting the District under control. The plan also has some very bold goals (although few are truly definitive in time or measurability) that, if implemented, will dramatically reduce the cost of operating the city. In addition, there is no real Mission Statement for the District yet stated. This latter is important because a simple two or three line mission statement is a real focal point and an aiming point for all District employees and residents.

The mayor is taking this dog and pony show on the road and will be here in Ward three on Wednesday, 20 March at the Chevy Chase Community Center (5601 Conn. Ave. NW) starting at 7 PM. For those of you who really love this city and want to see it come back, you ought to hear this presentation and get a copy of the plan.

All of this, however, may be too little, too late. This plan should have been presented to Congress a year ago. Now we have a Control Board running the city and we are still at ground zero and getting deeper in the hole each day. In addition to being late, the plan is also based on the assumption that the Feds will loan the District about $400 million to get us started. Does the mayor think that Congress is dealing with Chrysler Corporation? The mayor will be discussing this plan with the Control Board this coming week to get their support.

I'm still not sure how I was invited to a "Special Friends of the Mayor" event, but I'm glad I was there to see a decent plan unveiled that could just be the basis for a start in rejuvenating the city that should be a model of efficiency and effectiveness for every city in the U.S.

Ed Barron



Another dead tree fell sometime during the night on Friday, March 1 on R Street, N.W. between 19th and Connecticut. It had been cut up and moved out of the road by mid-morning on Saturday, but crushed two cars which were across the street.

Courtney Bailey



Is going in (Raku? or something like that -- billed as an "asian diner") in the space next to Kramerbooks/Afterwords at 19th and Q Streets, NW. Anyone heard anything about it? Glad to see *something* going in there!

Courtney Bailey



Tenleytown will have a whole new selection of merchants. Rumor has it that Manhattan Bagel, with approximately 10 stores in the Metro area will be opening a franchise store in Pedas's strip (where Floatation Spa, Domino's Pizza, newly opened Fresh Fields, etc.. are located). The Wiz is still vacant but at $35-$40 s.f. for 2,600 square feet, you really Gotta Want It! The leasing agent for the old Hudson Trail Outfitters told me that he is under negotiations with a tenant for part of the space (His name is James O'Neill with Sheer Partners (301)770-1430, Call Him!). The representatives of The Hechinger Building tell me that they are splitting up the space and will lease it to various tenant's at about $30NNN/s.f.

If you know of anyone interested in commercial space in this area, call Charlie Adler, Fischer Organization at (202)783-3333. I make my living finding sites for restaurants and stores (I found sites for Potomac Video on Idaho Ave. and Van Ness).

Charlie Adler



The area around the Tenleytown Metro is becoming increasingly hazardous for pedestrians. There is no way to walk to Fresh Fields, either through the alley or through the Wisconsin Ave. access road, without being in the path of cars. It is also very hard to cross 40th Street at Albemarle because of the construction, the potholes, and the AU shuttle bus that parks directly in the crosswalk, making it impossible to see if cars are coming from the left. I hope that in time these problems will be remedied by a complete reconfiguration of the area, with designated walkways for pedestrians and a bus stop for the shuttle that is further away from the intersection.

Carolyn Long MAH0CO7@SIVM.SI.EDU



I share Stephanie Faul's sentiments about red light runners, though I'm not so sure that you can infer a direct link to lowered crime rates. For instance, at the intersection of Connecticut and Tilden, the spot where I feel most targeted, most scofflaws appear to be commuters in too much of a hurry to even slow down, much less stop at the red light before turning right (from Tilden onto northbound Connecticut). But whether these folks are career criminals is not the issue; they should be ticketed and stiffly fined for the simple reason that they are a serious threat to the safety of others, in particular any pedestrians who may venture into the crosswalk. As Ms. Faul suggests, any effort to stop such violations would more than pay for itself, especially if the fines were increased to an appropriate level, say a three- or fourfold increase from their present levels.

Ralph Blessing



Stephanie Faul wondered last issue about those who red lights. Now I haven't personally done this, at least not in America, although sometimes they are very orange. Nevertheless, those for whom she is wishing justice are getting caught with infrequency at the corner of Albemarle and Wisconsin. Several times in 95 (if there were less snow, I'm sure DC's finest would be out now as well) they ran afternoon wrong turners and late crossers over and issued tickets. Paid for their salary AND a visit to the then-open Dunkin'Donuts.

Bob Mendo



This is a couple of days late, but let me assure the doubters out there that two separate trucks pick up our recycling, and neither is a D.C. government truck. It is the interest of the owners of both trucks that the recyclables be sellable, i.e. sortable, relatively clean, etc.

One truck picks up the "dry" stuff (newsprint, glossies, office paper, and junk mail; incidentally, this stuff is worthless unless it remains dry!), and the other picks up the "wet" (glass, metals, plastics).

In the past there were rumors that the newspapers D.C. picked up were thrown in with the garbage, but that rumor just doesn't make sense today.



I don't know how many of your readers travel on 36th Street between Fessenden and Nevada, but it has become the last unpaved street in DC. There are more potholes than pavement, and any speed over two miles an hour is impossible to sustain. Anyone have any ideas as to how to get the DC "government" to repair (repave) this monstrosity?

Steve Malcom



mpany. Your on-line full service used bookstore. We'll be happy to search for that elusive title, check our stock for your particular wants, or e-mail you our current catalogues. Write to us at 5505 Connecticut Avenue, NW, #248, DC 20015, call us at (202) 363-5879, or e-mail us at



Join WAMU talk show host Derek McGinty online each week! "Live! with Derek McGinty" is produced locally by Discovery Channel Online and the Soundprint Media Center, and happens on the internet every Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Here's Derek's online lineup for March:

3/7 - Bird watching: In the field and on the internet. Derek's guests include Dr. Bruce Peterjohn, head of the North American Breeding Bird Survey in Patuxent, MD.

3/14 - Derek's guest is British science guru James Burke, host of "Connections" on PBS and "Connections2" on The Learning Channel.

3/21 - Derek talks about resources for women on the internet with "Cybergrrl" Aliza Sherman. ** Also simulcast on America Online's "Center Stage" **

3/28 - Derek welcomes Dava Sobel, former science writer for the New York Times and author of the best-seller "Longitudes," for a discussion on science, astronomy and psychology.

Each show is presented in live RealAudio and as real-time text via Internet Relay Chat. Audience questions are welcome and encouraged! For more information and free listening or chatting software, point your browser to:


John Keefe Producer, "Live! with Derek McGinty"

"Imaging on the Internet"

Electro-Optical Technologies, Inc. (E-OTEK), the speciality business and management consultancy, announces the establishment of a corporate "home page" on the World Wide Web at:

E-OTEK is a professional management services firm offering objective external assistance--distinctive in its innovation, efficiency, and flexibility--for market intelligence, guidance and strategic planning, operations concept development, requirements definition, and system design specifications in the high-performance electronic imaging applications arena.

Lee J. Nelson


Jeff Krulik

I'm having a screening of my work at the AFI on March 16th.

The I QUIT MY DAY JOB FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL or "Blassie, Borgnine and Me" Presented by Jeff Krulik in cooperation with Townhouse Post-Production Saturday, March 16, 1996 Two Showtimes: 4PM and 6PM American Film Institute Theater, Kennedy Center Admission: $6.50 $5.50 AFI members

In February 1990, Jeff Krulik co-produced the Don't Quit Your Day Job Film & Video Festival (featuring Heavy Metal Parking Lot) at the AFI Theater. This past May, he left steady employment for a freelance spin. But in no hurry to set his alarm clock, he turned to unfinished projects gathering dust on his shelves. This program will feature the world premiere of MR. BLASSIE GOES TO WASHINGTON, a look at work-in-progress ERNEST BORGNINE ON TOUR, and other selections from an emerging body of irreverent work. Also on the program will be DEVO filmmaker Chuck Statler's rarely seen AIN'T WE HAVING FUN?

MR. BLASSIE GOES TO WASHINGTON A verite royal visit to the Nation's Capital by former world champion professional wrestler, self-proclaimed King of Men and one-time Andy Kaufman collaborator Freddie Blassie. Blassie doggedly pursues President Clinton and anyone who will pay attention to his histrionics.

ERNEST BORGNINE ON TOUR Beginning as a dare between Krulik and frequent collaborator Brendan Conway, , this work-in-progress presents Hollywood legend Ernest Borgnine piloting his 40 foot luxury bus across the Midwest, reminiscing about showbiz pals, holding court at truckstops, and visiting a shoe factory.

Running time: Approximately 100 minutes Reception and Dance immediately following the second screening at THE MAGIC GOURD "Forget Chinatown...the best hot and sour soup in DC." Jeff Krulik Located at 528 23rd Street, NW in Columbia Plaza (23rd & Virginia) Walking distance from Kennedy Center. 24-hour parking underneath. $5 after 5pm. Swingest music around provided by Mitch Parker and Mark Jefferson.

Screening Hotline: 202/966-5304

Jeffrey Krulik Jeff.Krulik@internetMCI.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

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