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March 17, 1996

The Man Behind Jack Stanton

Dear Neighbors:

I just finished Primary Colors by an author named Anonymous (what a strange name). It's about this politician and his ruthless wife running for the top office in the nation's capital. The politician--Jack Stanton--is a shameless womanizer--really a sex addict--who is just a super politician, especially one-on-one with the "people." He's a guy who can really feel your pain, despite the amount of pain he inflicts upon the people around him. Every time a new scandal breaks, he just bounces back. Although a work of fiction, I can't help thinking that the author modeled the lead character on Marion Barry.

The City Paper parody of the Washington Times will appear this Thursday instead, for those of you who called in to complain. And our subscription total now stands at exactly 600, not exactly the rush of new sign-ups I hoped for but progress nonetheless.

Here are some meetings this week that you want to attend or avoid. Steve Harlan of the Control Board addresses ANC-3F on Monday, March 18. 7:30 p.m. at 3150 Chesapeake Street, NW. For your Tuesday evening entertainment, Kathy Patterson will address the Chevy Chase Community Association at 7:30 in the Chevy Chase Community Center on Connecticut Avenue. On Wednesday night, Jack Stanton--make that Mayor Barry--will be hawking his plan to redeem the city (his vision thing) in Chevy Chase at 7:00 p.m. On Barry's schedule, you can assume he will appear any time after 7:30 p.m.

Jeffrey Itell


Electronic Backfence Party

Our first dc.story party is on for Tuesday, March 26 at Pizzeria Uno (corner of Connecticut and Ordway). At the party, WAMU will collect sound bytes for a broadcast segment about virtual communities meeting in person. The cost is free but please R.S.V.P. to



Jeffrey -- I'd be curious to hear your views (and the views of others) on the apparent unattractiveness of the Tenleytown area for small, consumer-oriented businesses that had, to my mind, been beneficial to the neighborhood. Specifically, over the past year Kemp Mill Records closed their store at Wisconsin and Van Ness; the Wiz closed its store at Wisconsin and Albermarle; and I was shocked to learn this weekend that Egghead Software will be closing its store at Wisconsin and Van Ness. It is a shame that stores such as these, which offer a useful product, cannot generate enough income to stay alive in our neighborhood.

David Missert


In Dupont Down Under, I believe only Shlotsky's deli, the Pita Stop, and the Bagel place are still open for business. It has become a nice warm place for folks to play chess. There always seems to be a full house. The cause I believe is allowing someone who had been convicted of ripping off small businesses to be allowed to set up this operation. Even if he were operating above board, the bad press doomed this place from the start. It's too bad, because its a great idea and a nice way to walk from 19th street to Mass Ave without getting wet.

Dianne Rhodes 219-9481


Any idea what's happening to the old channel nine studio building, "Broadcast House"? the sign facing Wisconsin Ave says it's for rent, yet several large dumpsters are parked along side the building. All the windows have been removed, and the walls and ceilings are gone from the inside. What gives?

gomez addams


I am writing a story for The Northwest side Story about Hechinger stores (specifically the Wisconsin Ave. branch but stories about any of their stores are fine) and would like to receive some community feedback on either why or why not people shop at Hechinger. Responses should be as specific as possible and can be sent directly to me at Thanks.

Sam Le Blanc Publisher, The Northwest Side Story


In reply to Chevy Chase Bank replacing the Exxon station on Q street, I see that Chevy Chase Bank also replaced the Kemp Mill music store at 4000 Wisconsin and Upton street next to channel 9 and the Cineplex Odeon. Hopefully it means good things that a bank is expanding into the district!

David Hunter


Coming soon! A BANK w/ATM on 17th Street under Carmella Kitty's. Pinching my self, a voice tells me, "what's wrong with this picture". I awake from my dream realizing these are the same folks of the "OUT OF ORDER/CLOSED" ATM's at Union Station--Adam's National-ugh. Well at least it's an addition to the loner inside the Soviet Safeway.


City Life

It was warm enough Monday night for me to have a few windows open -- maybe it was wishful thinking, a hope that warmer weather would soon be here. The open windows invited the sounds from Sixteenth Street: the regular rumble of the buses, kids playing on the steps of the Masonic Temple, couples laughing or shouting -- all making-up the aural quilt that makes living in a city, this city, a good choice for me. It's not noise, I tell myself, it's people living.

The sound of the first shot startled me. By the time the sixth was fired, my mouth was open in disbelief and my heart began to race. My mind raced: those were gunshots... those were right outside my window... ohmygod... someone could be dead in the lobby... I've got to call the police.

There were shouts and then a car drove from our driveway, over the curb, and up Sixteenth Street. I could describe the car. A call to 911 went unanswered for three minutes. I heard sirens. I went downstairs and was relieved no one was hurt. "Some dude just stood there and fired across the street." The man had already picked up the casings. The cops said they know the car -- wrote it up last week, five tickets. They looked at the casings -- .38s. The detective wanted to know what I saw. He got out and looked around the driveway. A woman told him, "The dude stood right there." He shook his head -- "It's not even summer," he said. No, but the windows already are open; people are living here.

Sean Collins



It is interesting that US (Shadow) Rep. John Capozzi chose Castro's Cuba, that North American symbol of despotism and monumental failure, to make a case for District statehood. Is he comparing the government of this much beloved mayor, the fine, resolute, problem solving city council and greatest members of any board of education since Plato, with Castro's government? The 12 000 District residents who leave each year for Virginia and Maryland do seem to be like Cuba's boat people, refugees fleeing a tyranny of poor government. If statehood happened tomorrow, they would still flee. The reasons for their flight can be found in city owned buildings, not on Capitol Hill. It is there one seldom finds even the shadow of good government.

Joseph R. Poisso



Larry Seftor says "If election board Executive Director Fremaux cannot find a way to provide elections, perhaps he should step aside for someone who can."

Emmet Fremaux is one of the best public servants in DC and would be a credit to any government. If Larry Seftor knows a way to run an election without spending money, perhaps he'd like to share it with us, instead of making stupid comments.

Arthur Spitzer


A topic for comment and discussion: I have a friend who strongly believes that DC residents should begin a "Recall Barry" movement.

Of course, there are many barriers to this movement, but between the city's poor attempts at snow removal, the major school cuts, the inability to repair streets, and not even being able to hold an election, is there now enough incentive for all citizens of the city to unite to Recall Barry?

Or, stated another way, if a mayoral election were held today, do you think Barry would win regardless of who opposed him?

...just wondering...

Debbie Stine


City Management

Um... what kind of financial wizard tries to save money by laying off *subsidized* employees who cost the city half as much as anyone else? Or am I misunderstanding something, here? Does anyone know how much the city pays per hour for Barry's security detail?

Stephanie "Just *full* of questions today" Faul



We enrolled a daughter in Wilson High this year. We heard mostly good things beforehand. Now we wonder if school is indeed out. We received a mid-year deficiency report that much surprised our student., who professed to be doing well this semester. Deficiencies sited in three areas, one in which she wasn't enrolled. The teacher in another of the classes sited told our student that she had sent deficiency reports to all class members because it was easier. Our phone call to the third teacher confirmed our worst fears (but on the other hand relieved us). She said we needn't worry about our child's performance in this class, but that a computer glitch had caused reports to go to all class members (and she said this without apology). In other words we received a deficiency report that was 100% inaccurate. While we plan to take this up with the administration, we're wondering if any other DC school parents have had this experience?


Preference for Reporters Withdrawn

So (for reporters only), I'm happy to post your queries and comments under a pseudonym. But please let me know who you are so I can verify comments.

Why should reporters have a special right to speak anonymously that doctors, lawyers, civil servants, artists, blue-collar workers, and business men and women are forbidden? Are reporters' employers more likely to fire them for having private opinions? Does their celebrity status make them a caste above the rest of us? Do they need a forum to commit libel without being identified? With great respect, Jeffrey, why should you give your fellow journalists a right to hide while making the rest of us responsible for our written opinions? As for me, just call me Publicus.


Jeffrey --- as a reporter who lurks a lot, let me advise against a policy of publishing pseudonyms; i think it would really compromise the integrity of what you are doing, and leave us all second-guessing the information and opinions supplied.

Howard Schneider


[My policy to allow reporters to post anonymously is hereby rescinded and returned to the Office of Silly Policies. jeffrey itell]


Home Based Businesses

With Saturday's Post article on the difficulties of home based businesses in obtaining mortgage financing, and today's (Monday's) article on liability insurance traps for the home based businesses, as well as recent problems I have had in obtaining disability insurance as well as fears of having to refinance my home, I am wondering if there would be an interest in D.C. in forming a home business credit union, which could offer any or all of the following:

full service banking, to replace some of the mega-banks that have invaded the district and taken over some of our old favorite banking institutions (remember National Permanent? Columbia First?)

less biased lending practices for personal or business use for home based businesses, including "micro" loans for fixing up a home office, and possibly working with developers and construction cos. on appropriate home business programs.

insurance practices geared to fluctuations of home based businesses, including more reasonable disability policies,

home banking for business and office, working with Checkfree or individual banks ( we don't need a fancy location, which would only increase costs).

low interest loans and banking arrangements with greater sensitivity to home business risks (of course).

working with various district based organizations of solo/or home-based businesses (D.C. Bar, etc.)

other perks to stimulate home based businesses

This is just an idea. I am wondering however if it has ever been tried before, and if there would be a general interest. I am not saying necessarily that I would undertake it, but the idea seems appealing if there are other like-minded people.

Mark Cohen


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Jeffrey Itell Publisher: dc.story

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