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March 22, 1996

Soliciting for April Fools

Dear Folks:

We've still got a big push on for new subscribers. Yes, it is my job to nag you. Please pass dc.story on to unsuspecting net buddies and implore them to subscribe.

Our first Electric Backfence Party takes place on Tuesday, March 26 at Pizzeria Uno (3501 Connecticut Avenue, NW). There's no fee and happy hour rules must be happy.

Bill Adler reminds me that April Fools Day is fast approaching. I'd like to dedicate a special edition for April Fool's postings, including some postings that are not even remotely connected to potholes. Space aliens, flying pigs, and one-armed men are still timeless topics. I'll post the best of what's submitted and then you can vote for the best entry. And, believe or not, I think I may have an actual prize to give the winner. Bill submitted the following entry to inspire your creative juices.

Jeffrey Itell


DC Government Lowers Parking Meter Rates

To help improve the quality of life in the District, the Department of Public Works is lowering the parking meter rates. Effective April 1, 1996, the meter rates in most downtown areas will be $1 for two hours.

"We're putting money back in our citizens' pockets," said Jane Driscoll, Manager of Parking Meter Rates. As an added benefit, all parking meters are being retrofitted to accept only Susan B. Anthony dollars. "There's no reason why anybody should have to carry all those quarters," Ms. Driscoll said. "By converting our meters to Susan B. Anthony dollars, it's going to be much easier for a lot of people to pass through metal detectors, since they'll be carrying fewer coins."

Along with these new benefits for DC residents and commuters, DPW will be stepping up enforcement at expired meters. DPW recommends that you don't drive without an ample supply of Susan B. Anthony dollars.

Bill Adler, Jr. "Number 1 in New York Times Bestsellers" "Number 2 in Computer Books"



I thought I couldn't be stunned by anything that alleged-Mayor Marion might do ever again, having covered D.C. government for a year during his return to power, but I was wrong. What was that man doing in the middle of Connecticut Avenue with the UDC protesters the other day? There could have been no more effective way to tie his police department's hands than to go out and lend his ' 'support'' to the students. While I don't believe the police should have used force to remove them, the alleged-mayor's actions effectively neutered Chief Soulsby (and of course that hurts, guys.) and his ability to take ANY action against the protesters. Not to mention the multiple political messages it sent: extending the fight with the CFO; cementing the belief many of us have that his and his wife's relationship with the school is a multiply corrupt one; angering Ward 3 again, and this from Mr. Unity. I guess he's still Mr. Get-Over-It; ad nauseum. It is increasingly clear that Marion is a mayor in a Broadway or movie version of D.C. He really can't be for real, can he?

I'd really like to hear what others think about his backing of the UDC protesters.

Adrianne Flynn ex-Washington Times


I agree with the option to allow DC students who cannot afford the private Universities in the District to have a voucher to go to MD (and allow their credits to transfer also). DC cannot afford its own University; other public universities have state funds to back them up.

Question: Does Rock Creek Parkway flood b/c of backed up sewers or b/c the stream does not offer enough run-off space? It is a huge problem -- as witnessed last night after the storm.

Kris Hoeschler


I was stuck in the traffic mess at UDC (Van Ness). It took forever to get home. It took me over 45 minutes to go from Van Ness to Macomb through alleys, side streets, and every other creative way I could think of. I was feeling quite unsympathetic to the UDC students cause. I remembered my own days of protest from the 60's and never thought about how inconsiderate it might be to a parent who was on their way home to pick up a child or attend a sick parent. Maturity has made me less self-serving and more considerate of what blocking the street might mean to others who otherwise might have been sympathetic to their cause. Of course, "hizhonor" showing up did not lessen my frustration since traveling between Tilden St. to Van Ness with all the pot holes is like driving through a mine field.

Helen J. Wallace


I thought the oddest thing was Chavous and Barry urging UDC students that "They have to FIght the City". Maybe it's just me, but isn't Barry the City? He is/was mayor for quite some time. I think Marion built his personality on being a street activist and has never been able to grow beyond that despite his long decades in government.



I know I'm a little late to jump on the bandwagon, but UDC has one more case of mismanagement: they will not and do not understand how to create income from existing assets. If you've noticed, there are about 4 storefront retail spaces available in the building that contains Schlotzsky's Deli. My estimate that there is approximately 5,000 square feet of unutilized space. Again, being conservative, I figure you can lease these spaces for at least $20 per square foot, net of all expenses.

So why don't they lease it? All I can tell you that I constantly called the man in charge's office and never received a reply (he was always in meetings - for 6 months). I mentioned to his assistant that they should hire a commercial broker who specializes in retail (such as myself). She laughed at me and told me that they can't afford a broker, they don't have any money. The irony is that a commercial broker only gets paid if he procures a tenant, i.e., ergo, UDC can't afford to make any more money! I should have such a problem!

Charlie Adler



Not to beat a dead pothole, but the soon-to-become-famous utility hole at Garfield and Connecticut Avenue, NW appeared during one of our many major snow storms this season. I suspect that it was hit by a lost snow plow (why else would one be traveling on Connecticut Avenue?). Over the years, the personhole cover and its base have been damaged several times by trucks hitting the corner. Haphazard repairs have kept it from becoming a pedestrian-eater. The last blow truly finished it off. The damage is so severe, the gaping hole so wide, that it will likely be after Marion retires before it is fixed!

[BTW: Bill Menczer is not having problems with power outages in Chevy Chase. Some one else is. The editor will be punished. jeff]

Bill Menczer MenczerW@TBP.DOT.GOV


Real Estate

Just a note on what I have heard from the commercial RE people around town. The building that one reader asked about - The old Broadcast House on the Tenleytown hill--was bought by none other than Doug Jemal. I suppose it will be renamed Jemal Hill. I understand it was up for sale for around 3 mill but he was able to buy it for the price of a nice NW Home - Just under $700,000 I would think that the transmitter rent alone should pay for that investment in a year or two.....



In Re: Parking and the demise of Egghead Software

There are two parking lots within a block's walking distance of Egghead, along with the courtyard parking at the 4000 Wisconsin buildings. I work at 4000 Wisconsin, and have never had a problem getting a parking space.

Damien Weiss


Pizza Paradiso is moving across the street in Dupont Circle area. La Madeleine is planning a new restaurant at the Latham Hotel in Georgetown on M St. Bistro Francais is renovating also in Georgetown on M St. Cafe Parma is taking over the Cafe Petitto on 1724 Connecticut Ave, NW. Brothers Coffee is not being purchased by the Hannibal's people. Brothers Coffee is back on the market. Einstein Bagels, a division of Boston Market is seriously looking for sites in DC. Smith & Wollensky's steakhouse from NYC is looking at taking over the old Duke Zeibert's at Connecticut & L St., NW. McCormick & Schmick out of Portland, OR has signed a lease at 17th and K St., NW. This is another seafood restaurant like Legal Seafood, also on 20th & K St. Update: Teaism-A Tea House is owned by Michelle Brown and Linda Orr and will open at 2009 R St, NW in the Dupont area

Disclaimer: None of this information is guaranteed to be true and the author is not responsible for its accuracy or veracity. [The lawyers made him say this. jeff]

Charlie Adler


Historic Preservation

Here is what is happening with Historic Chevy Chase D.C., Inc.

Avalon Theater - The historic preservation review hearing will be on Thursday March 28th, at 10 am at 441 Fourth Street, NW (One Judiciary Square) in suite 220 South. We are urging all who support this important piece of Nortwest DC cultural history to attend. Presently we have more than 700 local signatures, on petitions in support of historic designation. The owners, Circle Theaters (Pedas Brothers) of course do not support historic designation to this or any other of their properties.... Remember the Circle Theater near GW - historic designation was only whispered about on that one before it disappeared.

The Avalon Theater is the oldest continuously operating Cinema Theater in the District of Columbia - It opened in 1923 as a motion picture theater and has show films from that day to the present. What is most amazing is that the interior of the building is still intact from 1923 (very ornate - though you would not know it because it is all hidden behind the current walls). With tokay's current trend of breaking up larger theaters into little tiny ones - HCCDC wants to protect this Chevy Chase Treasure!!!

The Frederick Law Olmsted Lecture - Also Thursday March 28th - will be held at 7;30 p.m. in the evening at the Chevy Chase Community Center - 5601 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Our featured speaker will be Charles E. Beveridge. Also Reena Racki will speak on Olmsted's effect on the twin suburbs of Chevy Chase. For information you may call me on 202-364-2852

William West Hopper


The Cardozo Shaw Neighborhood Association (CSNA) has submitted a proposal to the DC government to create a Cardozo-Shaw Historic District surrounding the historic U Street Corridor.

CSNA is planning to survey the historic district to recognize the African American social, architectural, and entertainment history of the area at a cost of $10,000. CSNA is planning a variety of fundraising events including a House Tour with the theme "Works in Progress" on June 22, 1996. CSNA is actively seeking residents or neighbors to open their house for the tour or assist in planning the event.

Paul Williams


The last remaining building once owned and operated as Frelinghuysen University, a local institution for the education of working class African Americans in the 1920's and 1930's, has recently been declared both a DC Landmark and a National Register property. While some historic photographs exist of the house, none have been found during the period it was owned by Frelinghuysen. If anyone can provide a photograph or has any remembrances of attending classes there, please contact Mr. Williams at (202) 462-6251.

The unusual triangular shaped house was built in 1879 at a cost f $2, 800. Frelinghuysen University owned the house from 1921 to 1927, to consolidate classes being taught at various offices and homes in the neighborhood. The school was dedicated to the life and character of the late NJ Senator Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen, and has long been associated local scholar and educator Dr. Anna J. Cooper. 117 students were enrolled during the 1926-1927 school year. A variety of factors lead to the schools' demise in the 1950's, with the last classes held at Cooper's own home at 201 T Street, NW.

Paul Williams




Celebrate the Academy Awards at "Capital Oscars," presented by the Washington DC Film Society on Monday, March 25th at 8 p.m. at the deliciously deco Bethesda Theatre Cafe, 7719 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda.

The extravaganza, a fundraiser for the Film Society and its parent, FilmFest DC (the Washington DC International Film Festival), includes a live telecast of the awards ceremony from Hollywood projected on three giant screens, and also features succulent hors d'oeuvres and desserts, raffle prizes, a "guess the winners" contest, lights, cameras and lots of action! Eddie Cockrell, film critic and host of the Biograph Theater Sunday Cinema Series will serve as emcee. Dress is creative black tie.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for Film Society members) and can be purchased at the Bethesda Theatre Cafe box office during regular hours, and the night of the event. Tickets can be reserved for pickup by 8:15 the night of the event by calling the Film Society Hotline at 202-554-3263. NO MORE MAIL ORDERS, PLEASE. All proceeds support the work of the Film Society and FilmFest DC. Must be 21 or older to attend.

David Uglow


U Street Spring House Tour. The Historic Preservation and Promotion Committee of the Cardozo-Shaw Neighborhood Association (CSNA) announces plans for a spring house tour of historic homes and businesses surrounding the U Street corridor of Northwest DC on Saturday, June 22, 1996, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Many homes and commercial structures, significant for their social, cultural, or architectural association with African American history are planned for inclusion on the tour. This first annual Cardozo-Shaw house tour carries the theme "Works-in-Progress," and will act as the primary fund raiser in CSNA's efforts to designate the U Street neighborhood both a DC and National Register Historic District.

The tour cost is $10 per ticket, or $12 on the day of the event (at 1800 Vermont Ave, at 11th Street, NW). A limited number of tickets will be sold, and will be available after May 1st. Tickets can be purchased at Polly's Cafe (1342 U Street) or by mail (CSNA House Tour, P.O. Box 73784, Washington, DC 20009-4438). For more information, or to volunteer your time or your home, contact Paul K. Williams at 202-462-6251.


A web page for Macintosh computer consultants has been recently set up. Listings on the page are free, as is usage of the page by people looking for Macintosh assistance. Send email to


WRITER. Known locally and nationally as "the sow's ear specialist." Can turn anything -- from your fevered ramblings to a brochure draft written on bev naps -- into effective selling documents. Clients include Apple Computer, IBM, Digital, USA Today, and others. Merciful prices (though you must have SOME money to do things in this world). Call Jean Lawrence, (202) 362-8585 or email JKELLAW@AOL.COM.


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Jeffrey Itell Publisher: dc.story

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